Guest editorial: ‘We have met the enemy and he is us’
October 19, 2018
We quote from the old Pogo comic strip as it so aptly describes a lot of the current political/complaint landscape. We, like many, lament what we see out there in the world. But it is upsetting to see so much complaining and comments of "it is simple to fix these issues" or "just say no." Most often the solutions are much more complex and most of us do not make the time to fully understand them and/or fail to participate.
When we look at the current landscape — federal, state and local — we see a lot of complaining but note an increasing shortage of citizens willing to step up and do their Jeffersonian duty of elected or appointed office. Thomas Jefferson believed in the role of citizen politicians who show up, do a job and then step to the side so others may step up.
With seven county offices open, not one incumbent was challenged as of the filing deadline. What does this say about us? Are we all happy about the state of affairs in our county?
That cannot be true, as there seems to be no shortage of issues and complaints expressed on KPCW, The Park Record and in social media. Whether they be Kilby Road, traffic, transportation, communication from county government, growth, air quality, water quality, loss of open space, construction impacts and the like, we lack knowledge and yet don't seek to understand. We live in cynical times, when so many are willing just to complain and then accuse our officials of failing to do anything or making foolish decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
That being said, there is someone who has chosen to run for Seat E as a write-in candidate. You may not know about Josh Mann unless you've met him in the community, get one of his emails forwarded to you or stumble into his blog (www.parkrag.com) or campaign site (www.joshmann.com). Josh has invested a lot of time in understanding local government and does a good job of explaining the way things work. Take his most recent newsletter called "The Civics Class Edition" (www.joshmann.com/the-bull-moose-newsletter/). In it he lays out lots of information about the county that many of us neither know nor understand. His website also outlines several important county issues. Why point out Josh Mann? Because there will be no debates in this election season, no cross examination of the issues; there are NO candidates other than the incumbents.
From experience we know that issues are never as simple as they seem, local government is the place you can really have an impact, and that involvement (or at least awareness) can be very satisfying. So, the next time governmental appointed positions (planning commission, board of adjustments, etc.) or elected positions (Council, Auditor, Clerk, Attorney, etc.) come up, consider running. Or at least learn about the issues and how government works on a local level.
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