Source: Sherman Publications

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Keiser's Role
Keiserís Role A column by Trevor Keiser
Civic duty

by Trevor Keiser

November 10, 2010

Some of you might have seen the last Independence Township Board meeting. They had a conversation regarding lifetime healthcare for the three elected official, the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer.

The discussion was rather interesting.

Trustees voted 5-2 to extend the requirement to qualify for lifetime healthcare for the three full-time elected positions from eight years to 16 years, or four terms of office.

Now I heard everything from "we don't get paid that much and benefits are OK" ($70,000-$80,000 a year including benefits sounds good to me) to comparing local politicians to state and federal government politicians.

As the discussion was going on one phrase came to my head "civic duty." I believe politicians have gotten away from what this really means. Your time in office is meant to be a public service, not a career.

As many were for the option of extending the years even beyond 16, I have to agree with Trustee Mark Petterson, I don't think elected officials should get any perk beyond their time in office.

Is this too be cold-hearted and mean? No, it's more like "welcome to the real world."

Politicians constantly want to compare running government to running a business.

Well, guess what, the business world has changed. The days of pensions and perks are disappearing fast, just ask my dad who retired from General Motors.

Not too mention our forefather Thomas Jefferson set a great example. When he finished his presidency at the White House, he went back home to the farm and picked up where he left off.

I look at serving in office as I do serving in the military, it's a sacrifice. Once your time is done, the government healthcare is no more, unless you served 20 years. Otherwise you might get a hand shake with "thanks for serving your country," and perhaps walk away with a few battle scars and couple medals.

In the words of President John Kennedy, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."