Sunday, May 8, 2011

Being the smart little pig

I recently had someone say to me that citizens elect their local officials and those elected people should be allowed to run the government.  I do not disagree.  That's democracy in action. 

The problem starts when these elected officials have no clue as to the state and local laws they are elected to follow.  Or they are totally incompetent when it comes to making new and good public policy.

Somewhere along the way we have confused getting 'elected' to a governing body with being 'hired' to run a corporation.  About ten years ago I got into a dispute at a Board meeting with the newly elected Township Supervisor.  When it was my turn to speak, I asked him, 'Who died and made you czar of West Bloomfield?'  Little did I know that this was the start of a new czarist regime. 

You see, elected officials do not just get to do what they want.  There are laws to be followed.  If you do what is allowed and required, make good decisions, forecast what may happen in your community, plan for the worst and hope for the best, you may end up like the little pig whose house withstood the 'Big Bad Wolf' at the door.

These days the wolf is called an Emergency Manager.  Whether or not his authority is constitutional, I will leave to the courts to decide.  But, the fact that he could come and 'blow down your house', i.e. local governance, should be enough to keep you on your toes and 'build a better castle'.  That is where the czars live anyway.

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