Public servants need praise for taking lead

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wanted: Someone willing to work long hours for very little pay and even less praise. Must be willing to take public abuse, criticism and even ridicule but still maintain a level head.

Must have desire to take blame for actions or inactions of others. The ability to make tough decisions and maintain a thick skin is also necessary since you will likely be accosted on all sides.

Benefits include loss of &#8220friends,” angry phone calls and uncertain future because you will have to fight to keep this highly prized position every four years.

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Does that sound like a fun job? No, but that is exactly what many public servants sign on for when they run for office or hold an elected position.

Some people are quick to throw stones and point out the shortcomings of elected officials, but many of these men and women make huge sacrifices to step up and try to lead local government.

In Ironton, four city councilmen have wrapped up their service that spanned what many would say is among the most difficult times in the city's history. Each of the men has been criticized for his various stances, actions or inactions on countless issues over the years.

Instead of criticizing them as they depart the public stage, we should applaud these people who were at least willing to try and make a difference. We may not agree with many of our elected leaders on many issues but we should always respect the fact that they have taken on the burden.

Chairman Jim Tordiff will bid farewell to the spotlight of Ironton politics after 27 years in which he has served on council, in the finance department and as the city's mayor. Think what you want about the man, but his dedication and passion for Ironton should never be questioned.

From calling countless work sessions to emotional pleas for action, Tordiff never wavered from what he thought was best for the city. That type of dedication should be admired.

The same can be said for Councilmen Bill Nenni, Brent Pyles and Bob Isaac. Each have varying levels of experience and took different paths to land on council. All share that same love for the city and a desire to see it move forward.

So before you criticize the men and women who lead the community, step back and look at that job description. Voters and residents should remember to make the thankless job a little more thankful.