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I have had a very challenging time putting this column together. My mind has jumped between so many things, situations, politics, leadership, and just outright consistencies AND inconsistencies that I don’t know how to lay it out. But I’ll do my best to come full circle and tie these topics together in the end.
My first plan was to write more about asking all of you to stand up for yourselves, your children and grandchildren, and the future of the nation. I am still blown away by the election results in Virginia and New Jersey last week, and I hope I am seeing a trend taking hold for us to realize WE THE PEOPLE have a voice that needs to be and can be listened to.
The parents in Virginia finally stood up to the bullying of their local school boards and local politicians because their eyes had been opened on the scam that was their education system. Education became the Number One issue and brought a new governor and lieutenant governor to the state capitol. New Jersey came very close to pulling off the same thing by almost unseating their governor.
The public speaking out is key to taking our country back. We are the people working and paying the taxes that pay these politicians. Every one of us needs to understand this one premise and make a decision to use the power we were granted by our founding fathers.
In the last hundred or so years we have abdicated our powers because we have been too busy living our lives and allowing the government to make the big decisions. We must take those powers back, and I am hoping the current financial/economic nightmare we are now seeing will be what will start the ball rolling.
If you don’t like the cost of gas, the cost of food, the availability (or lack) of food, automobiles and other supplies, you only need to look at Washington, D.C. Last year, we had low gas prices, lower food prices, a vibrant economy, and were oil independent in addition to exporting oil to other countries. Our borders were more secure than anytime in recent history, American citizens were at the head of the line, and the jobs market was booming.
You might ask “what happened and what changed”? The answer is an election happened, and the administration changed. The America First administration was replaced by the America Last administration – and the illegal immigrants, climate change believers, racists, and criminals moved to the front of the line. Gone are the days of common sense.
Which brings me back home to Coosa County. I am seeing the same level of dysfunction and lack of common sense here that I am seeing in Washington, D.C. There is little effort to work together for the common good – individual egos, hidden agendas, lack of or refusal to communicate, and a history of keeping the public in the dark has brought us to where we find ourselves now. The elected officials think we just don’t care and do what THEY want to do.
One thing that has concerned me in the 6-plus years I have been attending County Commission meetings is that the minutes of the previous meeting are NEVER read out loud or presented to the public. The commissioners are never asked if they have read them, but they automatically approve the minutes.
Several years ago I asked why the minutes on the County Commission website were so far behind (up to three years**), and I was told that they cannot be made public until all the commissioners had signed off on them. I never got a clear or reasonable explanation to my questions.
Well, this week a question arose about a motion that one commissioner said had already been passed at a previous meeting but was not included in the minutes of the meeting(s) involved – back in JUNE. Seems to me that should have been noticed, questioned and corrected BEFORE the minutes were approved. And, it certainly raises the question of whether the commissioners actually read the minutes before entertaining a motion to approve them.
This makes me wonder several things. One, why don’t the commissioners immediately sign off on the minutes after the meeting in which they are approved? OR, why don’t they sign the minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting where they will be approved? Then, why are the approved minutes not immediately uploaded to the website so the public can be kept up to date on discussions and decisions made by the County Commission?
I don’t care if we are talking about the municipal government, the county government, the state government, or the national government – it is up to WE THE PEOPLE to insist that our elected officials are working for the overall good of the people they represent. If WE don’t do it, no one else will, and we will deserve what we get.
I am so tired of hearing all the complaining and moaning but seeing no action from the public to correct things. You have two opportunities every month to attend a County Commission meeting to at least show your commissioner that you are paying attention to what they do. What’s YOUR next move?
**Just noticed that since talking with our county administrator yesterday [Tuesday] about the backlog on the minutes on the website that they are now current through June 29, 2021. TALKING TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE HELPS! Thanks, Amy Gilliland!