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Public must act to improve government

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Take a good look at your election choices on April 9 – whether city, village or township.  Are incumbents running again? Are they running unopposed again?

We say we want less government, more transparency, and more efficiency. But, we accept just the opposite in many local governing bodies, and we must start doing something about it.

Whether it be eliminating waste, consolidating efforts, or improving the process – nothing will change unless uninvolved people take an interest and get involved.

Decades of service on certain boards is not proof that people holding those positions are the best suited or the best qualified. They’re there because no one else cares.

What longevity breeds, unfortunately, is a proclivity to operate under the radar, unchecked, unnoticed, and oblivious to official and, sometimes, even legal guidelines.  The standard agenda is to maintain the status quo.

Why does this happen on community boards? Apathy and complacency. That’s what keeps the same people in office forever.

It’s not illegal, but it’s not right. And it needs to change. It will take years to make inroads in the hidden political process that operates around us, sight unseen.

If we aren’t participating, if we aren’t making an effort to fix things, if we don’t care enough to make a difference, we really need to take a closer look at ourselves and get into the game.

How many town hall and city hall meetings have you attended? I guarantee you’ll find a lot of empty chairs. Don’t complain; contribute.

As evidenced by the history of local boards, the process goes on unchecked, and people in many elected positions operate without accountability. The city of Dixon has experienced this in a big way this past year, just as we have in Grand Detour Township and, most likely, many other townships across the state.

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