Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why it matters

I was dutifully reading TKC this morning and Tony was kind enough to link my recent post about the Azeltine-Lindstrom race for Johnson County Commission District 3 and he commented that it was interesting even though the race was small.

I want to offer a couple thoughts on why the small races matter more, especially in Johnson County, Kansas.

First, like I've said several times before, if you live in JOCO your vote for President really doesn't matter. I don't mean to be cynical but it really doesn't. The state is RED and it is staying RED. Even though the idiots with the Obama signs in my neighborhood don't seem to realize it they will lose again today in Kansas. Some day there might be a shift but not for now. Clearly, if you live on the other side of the state line your vote is very important nationally.

Second, the people who affect your way of life most are the local governments. They are allowed to tack on additional property taxes, they set sales taxes, they affect the value of your home by how they manage growth. They commit money on your behalf for things like roads, bridges, new libraries, they pick the books your kids read, and curriculum that is taught to your kids. They even pick the kind of picnic tables that go in the parks and decide when the idiot across the street can have a garage sale AND if he can put an ugly shed in his back yard. They even decide what the greens fees will be at the municipal golf course. Further, in the case of the County Commission, they make very important appointments to many commissions some of which have the authority to tax and another that soley decides the finalists for our judges.

However, with all that power most people don't know or care who their city council person, their county commissioner, or who is on their school board. Did you like having Kansas a national joke over the teaching of evolution versus creation? Well, it was YOUR state school board that created that controversy. Do you know who you are voting for to represent you and what they think...? (Sue Storm) Most of the positions are truly filled by people who have no political ambition and earn no pay. They just want to serve and make their communities better. Some earn modest pay like a Leawood City Council person who I think makes like $6,000 a year for lots of work. Johnson County Commissioners make the best money at $50,000 a year and have tons of authority. We need people who are committed and talented and smart and TRUSTWORTHY in these positions.

These are the people who either make your life in Johnson County charming or maddening. I recommend you spend a little time figuring out who is running and pay as much attention to them when you step in the booth as who is running for president. Grab my voter guide if you need help.

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