Dear political candidate, they told me not to discuss politics and something else that I can’t remember. But I have a question. We have an election coming up tomorrow. This one does not involve a presidential election, but it does involve local government. That’s right…you already know that, sorry. In this election year, there are races for new mayors, council members, and a whole bunch of other people that I really have no idea what they do. I’m sure they’re important though, right?
The issues are the same: better services, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, jobs, growth, and make life better in Oz. I hear all of you use words like integrity, experience, responsibility, and transparency. Everyone says they have a plan, yet no one ever gets to see it. Is there a plan or were you just bluffing? No I am not joking, I’m really serious. Do they teach you to say stuff like that? Why are you making that face?
How are we the citizens to discern between the maverick politician that has grown up idealistically trying to make a real difference against the stereotypical politicians that are comfortable living with the perks of being in office, “playing politics”, and essentially ignoring the people who put them there? I understand politics is messy business and it can be difficult for someone new to implement changes when the remaining politicians work against it. Yes, I know you can’t please everyone. But, why can’t you guys get along? Also, why am I seeing more and more of you going to jail for cheating, lying and stealing? What’s up with that? We trusted you.
Don’t you understand that most citizens want to see the same things accomplished? Yet as an architect, we see beyond that and expect to see positive change to our physical environment too, to our cities and our neighborhoods. Are you still reading this? Look, the past few years have been really bad…for most of us. Things were going along well and then, well, someone wrecked it. Didn’t you see that coming?
On the local level, we tend to see the effects of your decisions quicker than those guys in Washington. Our schools need upgrading and our neighborhoods are suffering and people don’t have the money to put into it. Some people have to choose between paying their taxes and something important. I realize that taxes pay for the services our cities offer, but have you checked your budget lately? Do you really need all of those things? Can’t you drive a car like the rest of us? Aren’t you a public “servant?”If this was your household budget, wouldn’t you make some changes? No? Well I would. Are you willing to let us see where every dollar goes? I mean every dollar.
Well, that’s all I have. I just wanted to ask if you would find time to listen to me in person some day. I have a lot of plans for my hometown you know. I’d like to see it thrive. There are many small businesses that need some help. They can’t afford any more taxes. It is time to stop playing politician and start really serving those people that voted for you. Take time to educate us; speak to us instead of all of those fancy campaign parties where no one really likes each other. No, I really don’t care about your party or the other party. I just want to see something happen, and not just the year before the next election. Oh, and one last thing. Stop wasting all of this money on campaign material where you say mean things about your opponents. It reminds me of kids in kindergarten. That’s got to end. No one likes it.
Thanks for listening. Good luck tomorrow.
photo by Brian Brown (used for illustration purposes only…my comments are not directed at their local government)