Jim Harbison: Is Your Local Government Representing Your Views?

Jim Harbison
Have you ever attended a City Council or County Commissioners meeting? Do you attend frequently or just when you are concerned about an issue? Most people have never attended a local government meeting. And yet they vote to elect and re-elect City Council members, a Mayor, or County Commissioners without ever having witnessed or evaluated their performance. Everyone should attend their appropriate local government meeting as often as possible just to see what their elected representatives are doing. In the City I am most familiar with, the Council passes resolutions and ordinances that satisfy their personal agendas without regard to the values, needs, or wishes of the majority of their constituents.
Dona Ana County Building
As evidenced by the attitude of so many politicians today “they simply know better than you” what needs to be done. It is as if when they are elected they somehow become intellectually superior to their constituents. Politicians make plenty of public appearances before election to “hear” what issues confront the public and what actions the public demands to resolve them. Once elected, these officials take on a new persona - that of the all-knowing, all-wise, and all-caring benevolent ruler. By default their goals become your goals, without your consent, because after all you elected them to represent you and your values, or so you thought.
Las Cruces City Hall
At a recent City Council meeting a citizen took the time to appear before the Council and on behalf of a large well known and established organization, expressed objections to one of the proposed resolutions. While some members of the Council appeared to listen to his objections, others were too busy focusing on their computer screens and doing other things except listening to this constituent. No one from the public spoke in support of this resolution. When the opportunity came to remove this item from the consent agenda so it could be more adequately discussed the Council failed to do so and the resolution was passed without a single word of discussion.
Passing resolutions by unanimous consent prevents the public from any real discussion or opportunity to share their concerns or support of any proposed resolution or legislation. Public input is apparently unwanted, unneeded, and obviously disregarded. Why was this resolution passed when the only comments were in opposition to it? How did the City Council determine the vote on this resolution without discussion? Was it predetermined?
Local governments arrogantly perceive the authority to create and pass legislation without any public input. Failure to comment, either for or against, is neither consent nor agreement. It is simply the absence of any expression. What is different from this type of governance and that of a Marxist/Socialist dictatorship?
There is an increasing trend across America where the consensus of the few, the benevolent elected elites, is imposed on the majority without their expressed consent and often in spite of their publically opposing views. Local governments are supposed to be non-partisan but their actions demonstrate the opposite. Implementation of green agendas without regard to costs, mass transit, restrictive zoning and development codes, and support of a particular political party or controversial positions by these “benevolent” officials adversely impact many members of the community.
Americans need to get involved and attend their local government meetings. They need to witness the self-righteous arrogance of their elected officials and their apparent disregard for the views and values of any opposing group or segment of the community. It is time to speak out loudly and often and let them know that our views are just as important as theirs and must be considered.



Paul Revere said...

Cannabis reform is a good example. Why is weed illegal and tobacco, alcohol legal?

Why do the Feds treat weed as more dangerous than cocaine (Sch I vs II)? No sensible explanation.

N Mx slightly more rational than most of the country, thanks to Gary Johnson, but why is weed illegal for adults?

Why can my neighbors tell me how to live?
Or put me in prison or shoot me if I don't conform to their standards? Martini and cigar in hand?

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