The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

November 9, 2012

Our View: Congrats, and a challenge

We congratulate those who won national, state and local elections. Yours are indeed thankless jobs.

So much, that we often wonder why anyone would choose to throw his hat into the political arena these days. So, let us pause to say thank you for good intentions and your desire to be a public servant.

Maybe, during your term, you can change the public’s perception of “politician.”

Now that you have been elected, we would challenge you to do the following:

Make transparency the mantra for your office. Your office should always be accessible to the public. You should welcome record requests and make it easy for those who walk through your front door to get access to documents. Enough with this making people fill out forms to get what already belongs to them. The open records law does not require a written request. It does require that documents be made available to the public in most cases.

Remember who your boss is. It’s not a political party, by the way. Your agenda is not the issue. Your job now is to represent the people of your city, county, state or nation.

Don’t try to scare the public by creating problems that aren’t there. Too often we read about proposed legislation that makes a political statement. Suddenly people believe their freedoms and rights may be in jeopardy, when in fact they aren’t. Be a watchdog, but don’t cry wolf.

Learn the fine art of compromise. It’s OK sometimes to draw a line in the sand. We want principled leaders. We do not want obstructionists.

Talk with your fellow elected officials even if you don’t agree with them.

Don’t allow yourself to be bought and paid for. As a state and a nation, we need reforms. You can start by returning checks to those who obviously believe their money will make you do their bidding.

If your goal is not about making America a better place than it was before you were elected, then do us all a favor and step aside now.

There’s nothing easy about holding a public office. Even those with the greatest of integrity and character are apt to make mistakes.

Honest mistakes will be forgiven. Dishonest politicians won’t.

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Opinion
  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

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  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

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  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

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