Next week we vote in the mid-term election cycle. I'd like to tell you whom to vote for but that would be against the editorial policy of this paper and most likely you wouldn't take my advice anyhow. Therefore your columnist will offer some suggestions that might help in choosing where to place your "X" on the ballot.
I suggest you check out the fliers and statements made by those candidates running for office. Yard signs, while popular and abundant as weeds, don't impart much information. If the prospective office seeker states that he/she wants to cut taxes, be interested.
If he even hints that he would consider raising the levy, sales, income or gas tax rates or borrowing to meet a budget we don't need him.
A possible exception would be a promise to build by placing a bond issue on the ballot, but then, we saw how the Red Willow County Commissioners got around that one when their bond issue to build a new jail failed so they just raised the levy and built anyway.
If you're dissatisfied with the selection, remember, the only write-in votes that will be counted on a ballot are for those who have already registered as a write-in candidate.
Beware of a candidate who is in favor of unions and accepts union money for his campaign. Think Detroit and the reported decline in public education at the hands of teachers' unions. Gifts of campaign donations come with strings attached, so learn who is supporting particular candidates.
Incumbents running for re-election have advantages both in public recognition and free mailings on the federal level. Term limits are a good thing for elected board members (that includes councils), state and federal offices in the eyes of this has been elected official.
Now my hat is off to the good people who run for local office, for instance school boards, the NRD and the list goes on. Obviously they aren't motivated by the penurious salaries involved. I see their motivation as a way to serve their fellow man and pay back for the good life the community has given them to date.
We can best serve our community, state and nation by being informed voters. By all means take the time to go to your polling place and vote.
Now, being a lifelong conservative I could suggest that if there is a (d) behind a candidate's name on the ballot the "d" stands for don't.
Think President Obama(d), Harry Reid(d) and Ben Nelson(d) and his present million dollar salary "earned" from his vote that foisted Obamacare on us.
Your humble correspondent is privileged to serve, without pay, on a board that oversees a number of federal grants stemming from LBJ's War on Poverty.
Fifty years and counting. Typical of our Southwestern Nebraska ethic, those grant dollars are carefully managed and economically spent to achieve their intended purposes.
One of our major programs is Head Start and now one unit doing Early Head Start. As with any federally-managed program we are subjected to lots of "help" in the form of visiting inspection teams. Invariably, our employees dedicated to Head Start pass those inspections in outstanding manner. In order to better prepare for upcoming no-notice inspections our Head Start Director prepared a booklet listing items for her people to be aware and asked for board approval.
Allow me to share: Diapering >If diapering was observed, did staff do all the following? 1. Before bring the child to the diaper changing area, wash hands and bring supplies to the diaper changing area 2. Hand always kept on the child 3. Clean the child's diaper area 4. If wearing gloves, changed gloves prior to putting on clean diaper 5. Wash the child's hands and return child to a supervised area 6. Clean and disinfect the diaper-changing surface 7. Wash hands.
Well duh! Just like they do it at home, yeah right! Yes there were pages and pages of like minutia. Bless our dedicated workers who are able to get it all correct.
Now understand that I am not a foe of Head Start or even Early Head Start. I think that it is important to give those children -- they are all supposed to come from disadvantaged households -- a better start in life. I know that the accompanying education of the parents of those children can help them do better in life and our people do that portion of the program exceedingly well.
I do appreciate the federal dollars that are returned to our communities by wages paid, rent and utilities paid, construction and maintenance to keep such programs on schedule. However I also know that those federal dollars came from our communities in the first place and that local control and administration of like programs could be done much more economically and without the specter of federal inspectors, without any skin in the game, hassling our adult teachers and workers who are just trying to make our community a better place to live.
Ah, the joys of federal bureaucracy!
That is how I saw it.