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Doing It Over
2024-02-14

            Sometimes elected officials just can't get a break.  Especially those just coming into office.

            Whose fault is it?

            Items reviewed and discussed by previous elected officials, sometimes away from the public table, then brought up anew with new faces at that table can be an issue.  If you're asking for someone's approval, it is only fair to allow them to review and know what they are voting on.

            With faith and trust in government seeming to be at alarmingly low levels, elected officials are being more cautious with their votes.  They hire "experts" to advise them and are wise to take that advice into account when making their decisions.  But remember, it is the elected official's decision.  Taking someone's advice is not the same as knowing and understanding.  Take the advice or don't.  Just make sure you have a good reason for your decision.  Chances are that you will be tasked to make that reason known to the public.

            Decisions shouldn't be made based on headlines and bullet points, even though many are.  An understanding of the results or consequences of your vote should always precede ballot casting.  Input from those you represent is also a concern.  It's hard to give input when important information, that should be shared, is held close to one's vest.

            Headlines and finger-pointing were rampant a full two weeks before the text of the current funding bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan was made public.  Before the text was released the public needed to rely on partisan reporting and social media for information.  Many made their decisions before knowing the extent of the legislation.

            You can't drop important and needed decision-making issues in front of an elected official and basically imply that they don't need to understand it, just vote yes or no.  Your hired experts are there to share their expertise but the elected officials make the final decisions.  After all, voters can get rid of them every two, four, or six years.  Not quite so easy with contracted advisors.

            As constituents, we are sometimes tasked with waiting for the next meeting while the people who were elected have time to review, study, and formulate decisions on important matters.  It is a burden we must understand, even though we believe the decision to be a "no-brainer."  Pleading or emotional urging can help elected officials with decision-making but not necessarily lead to the result one wants.

            In the volatile world we live in, patience is becoming a rare thing.  But sometimes it is necessary.

            It may not be a quick process, but doing it right is better than doing it over.


 

 

 

 

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