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One Moment, Please... Running for office

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

We’ve seen quite a bit of controversy revolving around some of our locally elected officials. Recently, in the past few months, we’ve seen a mayor get voted out of office by a city council exercising a collective vote of no confidence. This decision has drawn an onslaught of online comments coming from all different perspectives. Our newspaper bears no support for either side of this particular issue, but merely a forum for the issue at hand.

And, these circumstances underscore the challenges facing all of our communities.

Some people may not appreciate how I call it like it is, but I don’t beat around the bush. I call it like it is.

In the Kingsland School District and the Rushford-Peterson School District, we have monumental conversations regarding facility considerations. But, at the end of the day, those who attend regular meetings and vocalize their concerns will have an impact. If you are uninvolved, don’t expect your opinion to be heard.

Regardless of city council, school board, or county board meetings, all decisions are significant.

With any election, those who are elected are duly privileged and burdened with the responsibility of serving the best interest of all of their constituents. Do you know how hard it is to make everyone happy all the time?

And, here in lies the challenge.

There are a lot of Monday-morning-quarterbacks; backseat drivers. There are a lot of naysayers who complain about decisions that are made at meetings. Often times, they don’t attend meetings. They just read about the results in the next issue of the Fillmore County Journal, and then gossip about it down at the local coffee shop.

The majority of elected officials are not serving the public for a source of income. They are paid peanuts compared to the time they could be investing elsewhere. They are usually signing up for this job because no one else will step forward to serve the best interest of the public. There are many elections in which candidates run for re-election completely unopposed. That’s because nobody wants their job. In some cases, becoming the mayor of any of our small towns is like a life sentence.

But, all of these elected officials do their best to serve the public. We may be critical of them, at times, which is understandable. However, if you feel they are not leading you down the right path, then consider throwing your name in the hat instead of throwing in the towel.

Just remember, though, you will need to have some thick skin. It’s not easy being a public servant.

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