|Thomas J. Mazur - District 8
MAY 23, 2007
CHANGE, REFORM: REAL POLICIES OR ELECTION BUZZWORDS?
At this time of year, we'll be starting to hear a lot of candidates clamoring for this great need for change. And of course, the other anthem that usually follows is the reform agenda.
Now don't get me wrong; as an incumbent legislator, I'm not attempting to use reverse psychology on you so you'll stick with me, instead of going with someone new. No, I wouldn't do that to you; I respect your intelligence way too much. That's why I never make promises during election time. That's probably because of what my mother told me many years ago: "tell her you love her 10,000 times, but never put it in writing."
Whether we like it or not, change is part of our lives, so if you vote for someone simply because you feel that that they will bring about change more quickly than someone else; well then, vote for that person. Just be careful what you ask for. Our current County Executive was embraced by about 80 percent of the popular vote during his last election. His platform and agenda were really quite simple: It's time for a change; we need to look at regional approaches to government. Do we need all these separate governmental entities, or should we consolidate departments and start eliminating duplication of services and possibly getting rid of smaller governing bodies?
Those ideas were really nothing knew; I heard murmurings of such agendas 10 years prior to the last election. And they all sound pretty good until someone comes along and tells you how to change your back yard. There was a candidate running for executive who said he would not consider regional government approaches because it was obvious to him that the people wanted nothing to do with regionalism. In a sense, I'm glad he opted out of the race, because I personally believe the cost of government will never get cheaper, so we have to always have to keep consolidated efforts and regional approaches on the table.
What I find fascinating and somewhat amusing is now one of the candidates running for executive is criticized for endorsing the candidate who brought this regional concept to our consciousness. There will be an attempt to link the failure of a principle to the failure of a politician. This can be dangerous because a principle should not fail because of a politician. A principle has to be thoughtfully presented and debated to all those folks whose back yards will be encroached upon. Just remember, that another popular politician, Governor Spitzer is setting up a commission to discuss these very topics. It'll be interesting to see if any of us are willing to participate.
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