It appears it worked again.
It’s been several days since Hurricane Sandy first began battering the East Coast, and government appears to be working. I use the term government somewhat collectively because a host of hardworking folks in not just the federal government, but in state, county and city governments did and are doing their jobs.
They produced accurate and up-to-date weather forecasts and warnings. They made sure that folks heeded those warnings. They helped folks in the path of the storm evacuate and, later, helped rescue those other folks who chose not to evacuate.
By the way, I’ve always found it admirable that when rescuers get a call for help from some moron who ignored warnings that he should leave and, as a result, found himself in need of saving that they go ahead and rescue the guy. See, my response would probably be: “The heck with him, he’s a moron.”
But that’s not the way government is supposed to work. Government, since we all pretty much pay for it, is supposed to be there for everyone. Including the morons. After all, morons pay taxes, too.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the government. Since my dad served in the military throughout most of my childhood, my view of government’s role is probably a bit skewed. See, I believe that government provided my dad a pretty good job that allowed him to raise a family of seven kids. Sure the government sent him to war three times, but, hey, my dad had seven kids. War was probably a break for him.
Government provided my family with free health care. Government, at times, provided my family with housing. It did and still is providing my dad a comfortable retirement. Government did the same for hundreds of thousands of men and women my dad’s age and continues to do that for the hundreds and thousands of men and women who followed my dad’s generation into military service.
I like government. Even when it screws up. And, let’s be clear here, government does screw up. But the successes of government, the good things that government does, far outweigh the screw-ups.
Nobody knows that more than the people of Joplin.
Before the 2011 tornado hit, folks with the National Weather Service were issuing warnings to residents. Those warnings likely saved thousands of lives. After the tornado hit, city and county first responders rushed to aid the injured, fight fires, provide traffic control and guard against looting. Later, emergency workers from across the state and eventually from across the nation showed up to help. The National Guard stepped in to provide assistance.
And then the federal government stepped in with money to help pay for all of the local help. It stepped in with money to help clean up, and later with money to rebuild. And that federal money continues to flow to Joplin as the town begins reshaping itself.
Government worked in Joplin, and it’s working along the East Coast.
Over the past few days, as I’ve watched and read coverage in the aftermath of the most recent storm, I’ve been struck by the similarities between the response to Hurricane Sandy and to the Joplin tornado. I’ve watched incredibly brave and selfless government employees rush in to save lives and assist victims. I’ve watched them help folks dig out of destroyed homes and I’ve seen them provide food and shelter to thousands of people.
In short, I’ve seen government do what government is supposed to do.
We here in Joplin have an idea what the folks on the East Coast are going through. We also have an idea of what lies ahead for them. We just pray that the government continues to work as well for them as it is working for us.
It appears it worked again.
- Local News
Pension funding improving, actuary reports
An extra $1 million contribution by the city of Joplin last year to the Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund boosted the funding ratio of the plan by 2 percent, the plan’s actuary told the board Thursday morning.
Special counsel to be appointed in ethics complaint against Neosho council members
The Neosho Ethics Board on Wednesday voted to ask the City Council to appoint a special counsel to provide legal advice to the board’s remaining two members as they investigate a complaint against two members of the council.
Mike Pound: Will new Earth-like planet have better cable offerings?
When I read that astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, I had a couple of deep scientific questions. First: What’s the Wi-Fi like? And: Are their TV channels better than ours? Hey, I didn’t get an “Incomplete” in college astronomy for nothing.
Christian ministry plans Missouri camp expansion
A nondenominational Christian ministry is planning a $21.5 million expansion on land it owns near Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri, with a goal of offering gatherings beyond the traditional summer camps.
Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season
Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.
Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium
Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”
Public hearing set on posed TIF district
Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.
Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City
moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.
Chairman of Neosho Ethics Board resigns
The chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board unexpectedly resigned on Thursday as the board investigates a complaint against Neosho City Council members David Ruth and Steve Hart.
CWEP receives top honor from national power group
The Carthage Water and Electric Plant has received the top award for reliable electrical service from the American Public Power Association.
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- Pension funding improving, actuary reports