Sunday, April 02, 2006

They Have a Sense of Humor, I See

Sunday's Commercial Appeal had an article on the County Commission races that had a funny in it!
Thanks to the Tennessee Supreme Court, most of the faces of those elected this year to the 13-member Shelby County Commission are guaranteed to be new ones.
Harharhar. My bet is that most of those faces will be people well known from previous positions, not truly "new" faces.

Some may not be publicly recognisable faces (but then, how many of you would know Cleo Kirk or Tom Moss if you passed them on the street?) but they will be well known -- and therefore well-vetted -- in Democratic or Republican circles. Too many gravy trains in risk of being stopped to let just anyone get into office.

There's also this rather silly observation:
Political observers, however, point out that the commission will give up vast institutional knowledge and political experience with the exit of its three most senior members.
Ummm... that's why there are staffs! You know, the bureacracy that never seems to go away. They will carry forward the institutional knowledge, unless the new faces are smart enough to counter the expected "That's not how we do things around here" with a sharp "This is how we do things from now on."

Change may be painful but it good and necessary. I really don't believe a community benefits when someone holds onto a local office like the County Commission for twenty or thirty years. I suspect the person who benefits most is the office holder.

And what does this tell you:
Five incumbents on the commission have already effectively won re-election. They drew no opposition at the filing deadline in February.
It tells me that we have two political parties more interested in their own selves than in serving their communities. Surprises happen all the time. What if one of those incumbents suddenly had a personal reason for dropping out? Or was caught red-handed in criminal malfeasance? Where is the person there from the other party ready to catch the dropped ball?

Where is the outreach? Where are the people trying to explore ideas that appeal to the other voters? Testing out the waters, so to speak; conducting experiments to see where the other party is weak and exploitable?

Feh, I say. Democrats and Republicans, at least in their West Tennessee incarnations, are far more concerned with self-protection and self-benefit than with party service for the long run.

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