The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

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October 23, 2013

LETTER: Current legislature doesn't represent we the people

Medina Journal-Register — County government is closest to the day-to-day needs of the public. When a county government operates in back rooms, behind closed doors, it is more like Washington and fails to take into account the voices of the people.

People can get easily confused when both Democrats and Republicans engage in verbal boxing matches as they lay blame on each other and continue to victimize Americans. When government fails to represent their constituents, there is a shutdown. This can happen on all levels of government: federal, state and county.

What is the most important role of an elected county official? The most difficult and challenging responsibility is to connect and communicate with the citizens in their jurisdiction. The county legislature should inform and involve their voters. An effective team of county legislators should communicate with the community so the latter knows what the local government is doing and the people should receive feedback when they approach the legislature. Trust in government is crucial. When that is lost, there is a shutdown, and people begin to doubt the efficiency of their elected officials.

I have never run for public office, but as a registered Republican, I believe I am owed the following from my elected officials:

1. I want to know that the decisions my legislature makes are based on facts that are available to be reviewed and that debate is open to the public.

2. If I contact my legislators, I should be recognized and provided timely feedback.

3. Effective citizen involvement should be encouraged and respected as an integral part of county government.

4. Local governments should utilize techniques from the marketing and business world that center on delivering an honest message and providing opportunities to explore viable options to preserve county assets.

5. Citizens should be valued for their expertise and opinions on issues within the county. Local governments should encourage shared responsibility for community problem solving. This partnership helps the community and the local government as they tackle problems and simultaneously provides the constituents with a sense of ownership in their community.

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