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Politicians: Here’s what we expect

In the few weeks preceding this past week’s General Election, a lot of candidates made a lot of promises about how they would serve their constituents if they were elected to office.

Saturday, November 06, 1999

In the few weeks preceding this past week’s General Election, a lot of candidates made a lot of promises about how they would serve their constituents if they were elected to office.

Open doors, fairness and no secret meetings topped the list of what most of the candidates said they would provide if they were chosen to represent their school district, village or city.

Yes, those are the minimum qualifications we expect from our leaders. Just to make it clearer, however, here are a few more:

Lawrence County residents expect their school boards to make decisions based on what is best for the students, not according to whose relative needs a job or some other political "debt" that has nothing to do with providing a first-class education for our students.

These same citizens also expect their mayors and village and city councils not to consider their own interests when proposing legislation or acting on proposals that come before either of these offices. We expect prompt attention to all matters and decisions that are made based on doing the greatest good for the most residents.

We expect honesty and openness. Behind the scenes deals are illegal and not fair, and we won’t tolerate them. If you are discussing something that you think we wouldn’t like to hear, we still expect you to conduct your business in open session unless the item falls under one of the Sunshine Law’s exclusions. By the way, your attorney must be present for you to discuss legal issues and personnel is not a cover for a discussion you don’t want to have in public.

We expect you to listen to what we have to say and then make your decision. We don’t expect you to decide an issue based on which side will offer the most votes or to think you always know better than we do when it comes to what is best for our community.

And finally, we expect you to understand what an honor we have entrusted in you and to live up to the responsibility that goes along with the office. That is the best way to keep your job and to make us glad we chose you.