Who Are They Really?

Who Are Our Town Leaders?

That’s always a good question to ask before an election rather than after, but the question is as valid now as ever and we hope you’ll consider it. Town leadership matters. As citizens, questioning those in authority is not just our right, it’s our obligation.

If you HAVE been paying attention and asking questions, you can see where our town is headed, whether you agree or disagree with that direction. If you haven’t been watching, it might serve your interests to begin. And aren’t the interests of you, your family, your home and your business what it’s all about? Isn’t that the crux of a town, the interests of the people who live and work there?  Those of us who have been asking questions and watching are ready to step up to keep Lake Park Town Hall from running away with what’s left of our prosperity and freedom.

Think that’s a little over the top? Think your personal freedom is safe and secure or that it doesn’t matter because this is just Lake Park? Think again. Nothing is secure without someone keeping watch; not your health, not your home and certainly not your personal freedom.

For years, relatively few have lifted a questioning finger to challenge the vision or goals behind Lake Park town decisions. Sure, many of us have griped about personal town grievances, but our concern was usually with symptoms we wanted relief from rather than the search for a root cause. When we delve in and survey the policies behind the grievances and the individuals behind those policies, we begin to get an eyeful, and we see why those symptoms keep flaring up.

Some residents HAVE actually taken town leaders to task on the deeper issues. Those who have, despite being scorned for it by some in authority, are in fact the heroes of our story. Even selected town commissioners have had to take unpopular stands against their peers at Town Hall to get to the heart of things. These heroes have been the keepers of the gate and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Had they not been engaged and willing to raise the torch one question and one concern at a time, who knows how much farther down this path we would be today. Now it’s time for even more of us to pick up that torch and take our turn at raising it high.

“Alright already! So what’s the big deal? What’s going on that’s so troubling? And how does it affect me?”

Good question. I think it would be wise to ask those questions and many more. What we find when we do might be intriguing.

Who are these people running our town?

Well, when I was growing up, I often heard it said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Knowing our leaders’ “friends” and whose voice they listen to is a great way to find out how they will affect the future of Lake Park. What groups or organizations do they belong to or align themselves with? Do you know what those organizations actively promote or invest in? Do your leaders hold high the principle of individual liberty or do they encourage government dependency? Who have they worked for in the past? What was the outcome of that professional relationship? Who do they contribute to politically. It’s a matter of public record. Check it out.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what our leaders do with the position and power they acquire. Do they tout their credentials while ignoring common sense and accountability? Do they stradle the fence on ethical matters? Have they considered themselves “above the law”? How badly did they want a position of Town leadership and why, and who helped them get it? Do they actively seek to keep government power in check even when they become a leader of that government? What objectives have they worked towards in the past?

Don’t know? Not sure? Call, write and ask. Look into the organizations and groups that not only our leaders, but our town itself, are a part of. You might find it very interesting.

I also want to suggest that we all demand with one voice…

…Show me the Money!

What is the ideology of those who spend OUR money and carefully select our town practices, and what will it lead to next? What causes does the town shine a spotlight on, and why? Do they spend town money as if it’s their own or yours? Have the cost estimates they’ve touted in relation to town business been consistent with the end result? Is obtaining “FREE” Government money their default rather than an exception?

Are they trying to convince you that government is responsible for creating wealth and opportunities in our town? Are they encouraging citizens to rely on more government money and thereby creating an atmosphere of dependency? And if so, does that dependency benefit them? Do their words AND practices encourage personal responsibility and entrepreneurship or government reliance?

And finally, pay attention to what the media says about your leaders. Does the media pat the town on the back and slather each story about certain leaders’ plans and initiatives with a sickly sweet syrup to help “the medicine” go down? Who did they endorse in recent elections and why? Did they present interviews and substance for readers to go on or merely tell you who to vote for? What do you know from experience about that outlets’ stance on other issues that concern you?

So many questions. So many intriguing answers.

Lake Park’s roots have been well watered, but by what? Those roots have made their way deep into systems you may not even know exist. But things are ready to change. You may have noticed a culture and tradition shift in Lake Park over the past 5 years (see July 4th post re: Missing: The 4th of July) but maybe you just haven’t bothered to really think about it. We respectfully request that you do. Please… research, question and consider.

We are on a quest to set a new standard for Lake Park town leadership. The commission meeting on Wednesday, July 13th will be a sort of get-to-know you event. We think it’s time our leaders got to know and hear from us… the people who pay their salaries.

Click the link below for an insightful article about true leadership which I posted at the end of yesterday’s post. It should have gone with this story. I apologize for the confusion. It was written by Robert Wilson and was published in the January/February 2010 issue of Professional Engineer Magazine. You’ll find wise counsel there on the matter of Leadership vs Power .

The future of our town lies in the heart of its leaders its people. And if all goes as planned, on Wednesday, July 13th, you may get a glimpse of some new leaders, and I don’t mean the ones being sworn into office.