Submitted by AGLS
In Meade county, we’re taught that we are our brother’s keeper. We have each other’s back. Most of the time, I can confidently say that’s how most of us live our everyday lives, not just focusing on ourselves and what we have to do, but taking the time to help other people when we see they need it, no matter who they are, where they grew up, or how much money they have.
Because my family made sure to plant these seeds of ethics, morals, and standards for my behavior, I have found myself wondering after recent events if our elected officials feel the same way. Are they posing the same questions to themselves when they see a need in our community, even if a person disagrees with them? Do they ask themselves if their actions would be acceptable to the majority of the general public if there was an open discussion? Why are we as citizens expected to have our elected officials backs when they don’t have ours?
It’s not too much to require our elected officials to behave in an ethical and moral manner. After all, they are paid to represent us, and should represent the values we all hope to teach our children, including honesty and something that resembles integrity. These people work for US. By “us,” I mean EVERY CITIZEN IN MEADE COUNTY. We must establish a standard for ethical behavior and appropriate representation. Taxpayers pay them, and they need to do their job. This means answer questions, hold town halls, and ask for their constituents’ input.
There are many of us that have been asking ourselves questions along these lines lately: why is it acceptable for a local elected official that has a hauling business to vote to do away with the grain elevator when it could possibly give him more business hauling grain? Why is it ok for elected county officials to allow text messages to be deleted from a deceased county workers phone prior to returning it to his family? Why is it ok for fiscal court members to miss a vote, but you see them at Kroger the same day? Why is it ok for our judge executive to only let a woman speak for 5 minutes at a fiscal court meeting, but allow a friend of a magistrate to speak for almost twice that amount of time? Do you have to be a friend of a politician in order to express your opinion? Is that the issue here, that our elected officials only choose to consider the opinions of those that would agree with them?
If you, as an elected official, are asked a question by your constituent, ANSWER IT. If you don’t know the answer, do some research and figure it out. If you don’t know how to handle something, call someone that is informed and can help. Nobody knows everything, and our elected officials shouldn’t have a “know-it-all” demeanor.
It seems we have many elected officials that have forgotten who they serve and where their paycheck comes from. They have also forgotten why they are getting that paycheck. Your job is not for you to create ways for you to make more money for yourself, your LLC or your buddies. Your job is to promote safety and prosperity in our community. “Community,” includes the poor people, rich people, people of color, EVERY person, even those you aren’t friends with and those who you think may not have voted for you. When I go to work and I don’t perform, or I don’t consider what is morally right, if my actions could hurt others, or if my actions could be legally questionable, guess what happens? I won’t have a job!
(Name and city of residence withheld, on file at Meade County Messenger office)