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Don't Rush Me


ARRRRG! I hate politics, governments, et al


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August 11, 2010 - I can tell this is gonna be a rough period in my life. I can see into the future and behold a time of turmoil, grief and -- oh yes, election time politics.

I hate politics.

I don't trust, admire or really like politicians and their bureaucratic brethren who run government. I also feel very sad for our citizenry who only want nice, pat answers; who accept every line cast by their "guy" in office, because it concurs with their individual sense of party loyalty.

I hate party loyalty, too.

And, I hate hating, too. It sucks knowing that I have no power over the powerful.

So, the first message I get when I get into this office this week is this (I'll paraphrase in my own style): The City of the Village of Clarkston (by the way I hate that name, too) publicly posted the deadline to be on the ballot for city council was 4 p.m., August 10 (yesterday).

It's that way in minutes, it's that way in published notices. Only problem is/was . . . the deadline was August 3.

Oops.

An "unfortunate" mistake.

All those who already had their petitions in, or were known to be running, were notified. For those who were waiting for the published deadline, tough. Run as a write-in.

That mistake was made in July. And corrected . . . never. Why? Why didn't the folks at the City of the Village of Clarkston call the newspaper and say, "please tell our residents there was a mistake"? Why not educate the citiznry? All we heard were the crickets.

This could very well be an honest-to-goodness mistake. Regrettably, it still has, or should have repercussions. When folks in the private sector or regular life make honest-to-goodness mistakes they pay for it. They lose their jobs, they go to jail, lose their families, whatever. When folks in government make mistakes all you get is shoulder shrugs, gee-whizzes and "By golly, that was an honest mistake. It won't happen again."

Why is that always good enough?

If this were the City of the Village of Clarkston, England, maybe there could be a "no confidence" vote to change things up. But it ain't.

I'll go out on a limb here: In the city council race there will be unopposed running. There will be just enough candidates on the ballot to fill council seats. There will be no opposition, no difference of opinion.

While I am not a conspiratorial type (that you know of), I can see why some who are say, "Democracy has been thwarted in the City of the Village of Clarkston -- because only the select few knew the real deadline."

No confidence.

This is the same council who made a motion to spend some taxpayer money, passed it and then when our newspaper reported word-for-word the motion, was told by councilmembers our reporting was inaccurate. When we let them hear the recording of the motion, and that our reporting of the words spoken was indeed correct, we were told the motion voted on and the intent were different.

And, that is 'sposed to be okay?

This is the same governmental body who wanted to raise taxes 25 percent (or there about) for police protection, but wouldn't designate it as such. If approverd, said new money would have gone into the General Fund to be spent for anything. They wonder why folks voted the millage down?

Is it because the City of the Village of Clarkston is not trusted, or thought to be trustworthy?

How many other motions were voted on only to appear different in the "official" minutes? Nobody knows, because even after what our newspaper showed the City of the Village of Clarkston, they refuse to actually "record" their meetings.

Folks have to take their word on it -- just like they would have to take their word they would have spent the five extra mills on police; and just like they would have to take their word that the deadline to file a petition to participate in local democracy was, indeed, the correct deadline.

You know, it's kinda funny. We own property in downtown Clarkston and have gotten a number of letters from the city concerning our landscaping and how it lacks that certain Clarkston charm. That our new shrubs planted, in a word, sucked. What's funny about it was at the same time we got these letters, the city-owned parking lots were full of weeds and unmaintained.

See, it is okay for the government types to not maintain, and when they get caught, laugh and say, "oops" but when somebody else does something the government frowns upon . . . look out.

I think this is an official call for all the good folk of Clarkston to secede to the township; dissolve the City of the Village of Clarkston. Do something. Revolt. This should also be a notice to township residents -- just because you have a hired, professional manager to run things, doesn't mean stuff doesn't still happen.

And, did I mention, I hate government?

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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