I heard a profound statement the other day from a pundit questioning why, even after a win, Republicans are still unhappy. He brought up the point, and I’m going to have to paraphrase, that Republicans are never happy because they’re never fighting to make anyone’s life better…even their own. They fight against the happiness and success of others. If you’re always fighting to keep others down, you’re never actually lifting yourself up.
This stuck with me because it allowed me to look at things in a way I had never thought of before.
What projects are our local leaders taking on to make Union County residents’ lives better? It seems like it would be almost unavoidable to make UC a better place to live. With limited power and limited funds, you’d almost have to try to make things worse. So why are they worsening?
Recently the BoE (Board of Education) and BoCC (Board of County Commissioners) officials have been airing their grievances with each other on social media. They take turns posting about who’s to blame for the lack of funding in the budget for the school board. Broad answer? All parties. Every County Commissioner and all but one Board of Education member are to blame.
Here’s the short version: BoE asked for money after the budget had been worked by the BoCC and County Manager for months. BoE doesn’t get their requested funds. BoCC refuses to sit down and converse with BoE. BoE complains about how the BoCC is withholding money from them. BoCC says that the BoE has plenty of money and refuses to discuss further funding. BoE refuses to use all channels to force mediation. For a full explanation, see the post made by Steve Martin explaining the full situation in detail.
Hey, Melissa, remember when you didn’t follow through with collecting the $91 million the BoE won in a court case a decade ago and then campaigned on the idea that it was an accomplishment to be proud of? Good times…
So now, both parties are posting on Facebook about their woes with each other. Our public servants are airing their grievances on social media. And the best part? They all have such a long history of dishonesty that we have no idea what’s really going on! My synopsis above could be false because we are being led by children.
This is not what I mean when I talk about needing transparency. We don’t need bickering children lying about anyone who dares to disagree with the decisions they make that affect 150,000 of our neighbors. We need adult leadership that will examine issues from every angle, welcome opposing viewpoints with open minds, and keep the public informed of what’s happening instead of complaining about their colleagues in the hopes of scoring cheap political points.
We have news articles written about racist leaders, a barrage of news cameras following the school board’s votes to disregard safety protocols, and now this?
As County Commissioner I affirm that I will do the opposite of every single one of these politicians. I, along with Kimberly Morrison-Hansley and Gina Palandri, will be dedicating our time to serving the people. We will never venture into the self-serving political slums of name-calling and dishonesty.
How will we do this?
Fully funding education will be a top priority of mine. The Leandro Case (1) is still ongoing with Republicans throwing up new roadblocks every day, and with Melissa Merrell’s and Stony Rushing’s participation in the decision to refuse the $91 million awarded to the BoE in 2012 (2), we have a lot of ground to make up. Our teachers are leaving, our buildings are crumbling, and our students are the ones who wind up suffering. We guarantee that during our term we will do everything in our power to rectify the damage done by the boards before us.
Transparency. Every resident of Union County will know what’s happening every step of the way. Unabridged, unaltered, and unbiased updates will be publicly broadcasted. This will ensure that residents will have full access to voice their opinion and keep the established politicians negotiating in good faith. It’s hard to hide behind the truth.
Let’s make sure that the BoCC and BoE of 2023 start working for the people they’re meant to serve.