"Can We Put a Lid on The Cookie Jar?"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 27, 2014

The time is here! What time you ask? Tis the pre-election season, time for dinner interruptions to begin. Your meal can and will get cold if you take the time to listen to the politicians.

All the calls sound the same, as though going by a script. A hot subject may be discovered, and the next day, they are all offering the same promises. It becomes our dilemma. Whom can we trust?

I often wonder just how well our politicians are really paid? We have nine candidates seeking the position of representative in our state’s 84th district. I don’t recall there ever being that many seeking any one legislative position. I sure hope they all have great ideas and plans to improve our area.

As I review the ballot of the upcoming primary election and ad materials arriving daily, I wonder why candidates don’t mention how they expect to accomplish all the promises they make. I think those seeking an elected position should simply state how, why and when they plan to undertake the promised actions. They could set a limit of one or two plans to begin and perhaps state their intentions to support a bill already introduced.

If you have been in office, it’s a good idea to let your constituents know what you have accomplished and how and when we can expect to see results. I don’t suppose any representative can take on all the problems facing our state. Just pick one or two and follow through (instead of going on vacation.)

When I find this type of politician, I’ll help vote them in and support their every move. We had some I was able to do that for in the past. Right now, sorry to say it is almost down to a coin flip.

As I see it, someone has to put the top on the cookie jar. How can our governor give huge raises to members of his appointed positions? Especially at the same time he is cutting funding to education and fire and police departments throughout the state. How can we require our youngsters to keep up with today’s education needs when instructors are laid off and class sizes increased? How can emergency response departments meet all the requirements without funding?

I wonder when new representatives arrive in Lansing if any of our tax dollars will be re-directed toward areas that lost funding. I’m not implying all politicians misspend our taxes. I do, however, realize there have been many caught doing just that, and caution is required to keep a close eye on all, including their appointees.

There seems to be a growing number of appointees, many more than in the past. When we establish new departments and appoint leaders to run them — what funding source provides their wages and how well qualified are they?

Note: I received a response to my suggestion of toll roads being established in last week’s column. The person said the systems set up in other states failed due to mishandling of funds. I’m not surprised nor do I dispute the information. Doesn’t that fact speak out for better control of both elected officials and their appointees as I mention above.

I have no doubt records state how badly the systems were pilfered, and again, that rings true in many of my columns when I point out greed and dishonesty of many leaders play a large part in today’s politics. When caught, they are begged to leave office, eventually fired if they refuse, or quietly given a slap on the wrist. Are they ever required to pay back funds mishandled? As we search through records, perhaps we could find out how much money is ever recovered and how many of those caught stealing actually make full restitution.


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