By: Steve Trubilla
I recently read a story about a hippopotamus found wondering in the streets of a city. Not something you would expect to see, but something you would certainly remember.
My first reaction was to laugh a bit. Any story that brings a smile to your face is one worth reading.
Imagine you have you have left the house for work. You have your morning coffee, the radio is sharing what is happening, and all of a sudden you see a hippopotamus!
It kind of grabs your immediate and undivided attention. The unexpected tends to do that.
Now of course, if you happen to be one of those that live around them it is no big deal, just another day. You may not even notice the up to 10,000 pound mammoth.
Did you know it is believed the hippopotamus kills more people every year than any other animal?
Relate this to deer; you see them all the time along the road. The damage done is measured in millions annually. People are seriously injured and even killed.
Most see this as follows: there is not much they can do about it, it probably will not happen to them, and, it is just part of the way things are.
It is not until they are the person that runs into a deer that it really gets their attention. Until then, it is the other person’s problem.
It is true of other things as well. Examples include the loss of a job, the child bullied, or the death of a loved one.
This is a sad but true commentary of what our society has deteriorated to.
When you read many of the accident reports resulting from deer being hit you find written, “I never seen it coming,” and “If only I had been paying a little more attention.”
Most must have the deer in their headlights before they even really notice it. By then it is too late.
The deer example can be applied to many things. One of them is elections.
From one to another, too many let them pass unnoticed; they do not even bother to vote.
A difference is what many politicians do during elections is not done accidently; much of it is very contrived and calculated.
I find most people I talk to have little faith in the ballot box. They now expect candidates to bend and break the rules and or laws to win an election.
The lack of confidence in the process is not without justification.
Even when candidates are caught in the act, there seems to be little or no consequences. An example of this is the resent Clerk of Court primary race.
A candidate is alleged to have photoshopped pictures to misrepresent the person she was running against.
Was it illegal? Opinions vary. Certainly not the gold standard when it comes to ethics.
Then there is the issue of the same candidate’s campaign accepting benefit from having someone purchase, reportedly her husband’s business, an estimated 26 web domains in a deliberate effort to stop her challenger from having a campaign web site.
Was this illegal? According to campaign finance law, it was.
So what happened? To my knowledge, absolutely nothing was done about it.
The facts were reported in local papers. The Franklin County and, State Board of Elections are well aware of it, as is the District Attorney’s office.
There is more done to a person for not wearing a seat belt.
To add insult to injury, I have been told when the Democratic Party learned of this, a Political Action Committee (PAC), chaired by Sidney Dunston, the chairman of the Franklin County Commissioners, spent money to continue to circulate “pre-filled out ballots supporting the person.
Pre-filled out ballots is a story unto itself. I see it as manipulating the ballot box.
I am again asking the question of Chairman Dunston, why would you knowingly do these things?
The signal on this is the rules and laws do not matter. Cheating and lying is OK.
The primary is over and this will most likely simply go away. I do not expect Dunston to answer the question. Routinely he simply refuses to answer questions from citizens.
It would be a nice touch if even just one elected official were to start asking this question and to demand answers.
Are there any hippopotamuses out there? An official or county executive that by their presence and action will be remembered because they did something unexpected?
If so, while you are asking questions, please ask about the almost $1 million Edgar Owens left years ago. I personally have asked about this at least a dozen times.
Months ago, after years of indecision, the matter was turned over to commissioners and the county manager for ACTION. There is nothing about it in the budget. Not even a word about it at recent county commissioners meetings?
Has anything been done to get a matching $1 million grant? If not, why not? No one can say they did not have enough time to work on it.
Also, was anyone ever held accountable for the destruction and storing of the records? Many departments had records in the basement of the courthouse. No word on that either.
Now is the time to start paying attention, or nothing is going to change. No one can say they did not see it coming.
This is not “the other person’s” problem.