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"Hi, I'm your veteran county councilman and I need your vote"


A Column by the Editor
web posted April 28, 2008
COLUMN – I have to wonder what it must be like to run as an incumbent in this year’s hotly contested county council races.  “Hi, I’m (insert any sitting councilman’s name) and I need your vote.” I wondered how a taxpayer might respond and I believe any informed citizen would engage in the following exchange.

Voter: “You want my vote?”

County Council member: “Yes, I need you to re-elect me to continue working hard for our district.”

Voter: “But didn’t you vote to try to zone the entire county and not tell anyone?”

County Council member: “Well, yes, but that was a mistake and we voted to drop that because it was wrong.”

Voter: “You mean ya’ll dropped it after you got caught.”

County Council member: “Well, yes, but we have kept taxes low and that is important.”

Voter: “Didn’t you vote to increase the property assessments and millage rates at the same time. Our taxes went up 150% and my neighbor’s went up 300%. How did you lower taxes?”

County Council member: “Did I mention my involvement on county recreation? We’ve worked hard to bring recreation to all of the county kids. I’ve always supported that.”

Voter: “Hasn’t the county spent over $3 million on that so far?”

County Council member: “I’m not sure of the figures, but it’s for the kids! I love kids… do you have a baby I can kiss for you?”

Voter: “But the recreation department only serves a couple hundred families and many of those involved say it is riddled with problems. Where does all that money go and who oversees it?”

County Council member: “Not to change the subject, but you know economic development is very important and I have always funded trying to bring new industry to our county.”

Voter: “Yeah, I hear we spend about $50,000 a year on that year after year. What do we get for all that money? I don’t see any new jobs.”

County Council member: “Umm, I’ve worked hard at getting roads in our district paved. That is an important issue for all of us.”

Voter: “Aren’t the roads paved by a point system and handled by the Transportation Committee, not the county council? What we need are real changes.”

County Council member: “You’re right, I need your support so I can go back to work to bring about the changes we need. That’s why I need your vote.”

Voter: “What have you changed in your many years on the county council?”

County Council member: “Well, nothing yet, but I am only one vote so I have to go along to get along to try to get something done. You don’t want to make any waves, it’s political, you wouldn’t understand.”

Voter: “Oh, I understand. I think I will vote for a real change this year.”

County Council member: “Great, I knew I could count on your support!”



 




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