You write the script for elected officials

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Politics. It seems intriguing and maybe even a bit mysterious if your entire understanding of it comes from a comfortable seat on your couch as you watch reruns of "The West Wing."

But down here in the real world, things are far less clear-cut for the real life politicians than for the fictitious TV character, President Bartlet.

It is interesting to note that every single level of government all share a singular problem this year - money worries.

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On the national level, congressmen are getting fidgety over President Bush's latest budget proposal. While everyone wants to say they support paying down the national deficit, few people are overly thrilled with having to figure out what will need to be cut.

The State of Ohio is facing a similar problem. Everyone knows something must give, but no one wants to make the list of cuts.

Lawrence County is the same way. The county passed a budget, that while still eating up the planned carryover amount will still give county departments less cash than most of them sought. Again, no one is happy about it.

By the time a person drops down to the city and village level, the similarities are almost scary.

The City of Ironton, for example, is pounding away at its own budget concerns. Debates continue over municipal fees, streamlining the city's operations and any number of other money-saving and money-generating ideas.

Unfortunately, the people who must decide what's best for the city, county, state and nation do not have a gaggle of script writers working to give them just the right answers to the difficult questions like the fictional characters from the TV shows do.

Elected officials - regardless of the position - need your help.

Do you think the president's budget is ludicrous? Then tell your congressmen.

Have an opinion over how the state of Ohio should make ends meet? Call, write or e-mail your state lawmakers.

Have a feeling about the city's finances? Think a $10 fee is the answer? Or think it's insane to ask residents to pay more? Pick up the telephone or attend the next meeting - Ironton's is on Thursday - and offer an opinion. The elected officials would certainly like to know what you think. You're their scriptwriters. Without your input, the page from which they are reading might be blank.