Our View: Dangerous game
Politics is a funny game.
That some view it as a game is a problem.
It often seems politicians make choices related more toward getting re-elected than what is in the people’s best interest. This statement, sadly, is obvious to many people.
As politicians play their games, fewer and fewer people are tuning in.
Far too few people partake in the privilege of voting, and if not for the war in Iraq, the numbers in the next election probably would be dipping. Should we blame those who do not vote for not participating in the United States republic? Or are these people disenchanted with the politicians who have made politics a game and are not serving their role in the system?
No matter who is at fault, there is a voting problem. This becomes more problematic when the decision-making policy on complicated decisions from our elected officials is similar to that of Pontius Pilate’s -“Take it to the voters” – or ignore a problem … and then wash your hands clean of it.
This problem ranges from federal and state governments down to the county and city government. Make no mistake – we suffer from these problems in Moffat County.
It could be seen when representatives on the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners went out of their way to make it clear that putting the letter of intent in for The Memorial Hospital levy in no way meant an endorsement toward the levy. They just wanted to take it to the voters.
And while two of three commissioners have publicly said a new hospital is needed – that it is in the best interest of the public – they won’t as, a group mandate, endorse a new hospital to their residents.
This begs the question: If they refuse to tell the residents what they as a group believe is in the public’s best interest, why are they each being paid in excess of $60,000? Is it not to make hard decisions?
It could be seen in a recent Craig City Council meeting with a neighbor dispute. Instead of addressing the issue, they looked at their current codes and said nothing could be done. Several of the councilors said they understood the complaint filed and felt for the individual. Still, the councilors did nothing but offer lip service.
If some of these councilors felt the situation was wrong, don’t they have the power to set policy? If there is a loophole in the system, do they not only have the right, but also the responsibility, to address it, perhaps by attempting to amend the code?
It’s hard to say if the councilors were just placating the individual who filed the complaint by saying they understood, or if they really felt that way but did nothing about it.
And it can be seen with the Moffat County School District Board of Education trying to figure out how much to go for on a bond issue in the November election to replace the middle school and provide upgrades to other schools.
We hope district officials are taking the approach of choosing upgrades that will best benefit students instead of what they think people will vote for.
The latter philosophy typifies the problem of the political game, especially in Moffat County. Because in this game, those who do vote have not been very forgiving.
Some of the best decisions to be made in the city and county have come with some politician bloodletting. The efforts at Loudy-Simpson Park and the city wave pool have proven to be of great benefit to our area, but were controversial at the time.
We thank those politicians who put their head on the political chopping block and made decisions with foresight regardless of what it did to their political career.
You see, politics is a funny game.
And when it is a game, it becomes a joke, and we need serious decision-makers when it comes to our future.
We need politicians who are not fearful about standing up for what they believe in. Do not back down under the fear of a recall or not getting re-elected for doing the right thing.
As Dante said: “The deepest levels of hell are reserved for those, in a time of a moral crisis, preserve their neutrality.” If the county commissioners or other elected officials of Craig and Moffat County believe we need revenue for a new hospital and school, then the county commissioners need to show leadership by standing up and speaking out.
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