Sunday, May 24, 2015

THE OBLIGATIONS OF AN ELECTED OFFICIAL! by Larry Fillmore


This weekend is a great opportunity to review and reflect on what exactly the obligation of our elected officials is.  In this country, our elected individuals are selected of the people, by the people and for the people to represent the people in local, state and federal government.  These elected officials are the voice of the people and as such have an obligation to comply with the desires and wishes of the people.

In November 2011, the former Town Council played a nasty trick on the residents of this community.  The Town Council offered to put a referendum question on the ballot on whether or not the people could vote on the Municipal budget.  The people believed that the Council would honor their desires based on the results.  Unfortunately a few of the Councilors, Michael Bowie, and Fern LaRochelle, to name a couple decided that the referendum question was not binding and therefore the Council did not have to comply with the results.  The results were over 2,000 citizens were in favor and only a little over 500 were not.  Since this time, no Council has honored these results.

At a Public Hearing on the Municipal budget a few years ago, the people spoke out again a pay raise for the town employees.  The majority of the people who spoke at the Public Hearing were against this action.  However, it made no difference because Chairman Liza Ward went ahead and pushes the pay raise through resulting in a tax increase.

Now, there was another Public Hearing on the School Department budget held recently.  Once again, the majority of people spoke out in favor of the School Department budget as is.   The Council voted not to accept the School Department budget as is but to cut the budget.  Councilors Mark Lunt and Gregg Garrison voted with the people against cutting the School Department budget.

It is unbelievable that Councilors, once elected, forget about the people they represent and march to a different drum such as special interest groups.  Above is three cases, in which, the people clearly spoke as to their desires and wishes and were totally ignored by their elected officials.  The PRIMARY OBLIGATION of an elected official is to the people.  Once elected, these individuals represent the people who put them there and are obligated to comply with their desires and wishes.

This continued disregard for the desires and wishes of the people is disgraceful and weakens our form of government that so many have sacrificed so much to preserve.  Why do you think no one comes to Town Council meetings?  It is because regardless of what they say it is ignored by the Council.  So why waste the time?

Our Councilors need to take a serious look at what is their agenda and where their obligation lies and decide which is right.

Larry Fillmore