Lance Scranton: Getting elected!
Signs are popping up all over the community as our local citizens vie to represent us on city council. All of them have ideas for making our city a better place. Ideas are good, but I hope each candidate will remember some of the bedrock ideas that make serving the public such a privilege.
Ideas are made up of words, and take on a personality, which is why we become so attracted to giving our concepts such earnest-sounding descriptions. I hear about cool-sounding ideas that are revolutionary and will help with just about any problem we encounter. Except that most problems have a cause and are easily solved when our pride gets out of the way. Too often it’s about who is right, or how it looks, instead of what should be done for the interested parties and the community.
Remember the basic fundamental law of service: know your subject, explain it to the people, figure out what should be done and explain it so the public understands. A true expert makes things understandable because when I don’t understand, I always think that it’s because the person explaining it doesn’t understand it either. Public service involves a certain assurance that elected officials are spending time to make sure issues and problems are made clear to the public.
Remember that the fundamental law of leadership is pretty simple: act decently and don’t lie to people because they will find out — eventually. People remember us more for how we treated them than what we think we achieved. Common decency always trumps political determination because a foundation built on the sands of deception will crumble easily when the rains of truth come pouring down.
I hope our elected officials will always remember that serving the public is a trust given through our votes. But, more importantly, is the principle that people are elected to represent those who have voted them into office. Just like teaching, it is a trust that we should take very seriously.
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