By: Steve Trubilla
The 10th of October was the last day to register to vote in the election that will be held Nov. 4. Many will have once again failed to do so. I could go on and on about this, however to those that fail to do their duty it will not matter.
There will always be those that leave the doing of things to others while they sit on the sidelines, being the first to complain.
Rather than pay attention to them, I want to say thank you to all that do their duty in all things.
In the course of events from week to week, I often find it difficult to decide on what story to bring you. As of late, this has become even more of a challenge. In large part because there are many loose ends hanging from prior stories. Questions asked that have gone unanswered.
Related issues include strategic plans for economic development, accountability for the destruction of historical records, officials' disclosure of personal financial interest in the purchase of the golf course, citizens' concerns about the airport, the security of schools, and many more things.
A local paper should reflect the community it serves, otherwise what is the point of having one.
Most of what I write in this column is the product of interest shared with me by people living in our community, things people feel are most important locally.
It follows if issues interest people, they will have questions. Generally these questions relate to things officials are, or are not doing. The answers can carry serious consequences. Careers may rise or fall with them. To say the least, often they are emotion charged.
Traditionally, newspapers have been the gatekeeper of the public trust. Referred to as the fourth branch of government, the press has well served as a shield against corruption, protecting individual liberty and freedom.
There are those, even locally, that would like to control or even silence the press.
I could, like many others, write about all kinds of less controversial things, or even try to turn the column into just a running political ad.
On a personal level it would serve me better to do so. Standing in the affray places me squarely in the impact zone on both sides of issues. When rounds are flying, few will stand with you. Most will say they are right behind you. Might be a good idea to look back there and see what they are doing.
Reasonable questions should be answered, if for no other reason, because is it just plain good manners to do so. It is not too much for the served public to expect common courtesy from those they have elected to office or employed to do the people's business?
One of the common political campaign pitches used is transparency. It resonates with voters because there is so little trust in government, and for good cause.
When people refuse to answer questions it becomes necessary to ask why, as it contradicts this promise of transparency.
So why do officials and politicians simply refuse to answer questions if they have nothing to hide? It would seem to be in their best interest to do so.
There is always the risk of a down side to controversial issues. Savvy politicians and bureaucrats try to avoid controversy. They are most interested in keeping their jobs and staying in office. They know most people, with the passing of a little time, will lose interest in whatever the issue of the day is. So they kick the can down the road until it is forgotten.
Now for a little on the political and election fronts. It seems there has been a shake-up in the Franklin County Democratic Party. Larry Marciniak has resigned as the chairman. This was a little secret they were trying to keep until after the election. Talk about your bad timing, the election is only a few weeks away. From what I have been told, those that wear the big boy pants in the party had a lot of issues. Mr. Marciniak, thank you for your service.
If you live in Franklin County, it is hard not to hear the fireworks with the sheriff's race. More like a war than an election, friends, supporters, and family lining up for their candidate.
When said and done some may be disowned, divorced, or who knows what. For sure, many relationships will be changed.
Vote for whom you support, and I will be doing the same.
We must elect the most qualified, not allow it to be decided on personalities, insults or false charges.
The time has come for a real one-on-one debate. I have been told Jones has challenged Winstead to one, and he has declined the challenge. Preliminary arrangements have already been made for one at the court house on Oct. 23.
Would you like to see this happen? There are some hard questions both should answer.