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May 9 is an important day

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Saturday, May 9, 2009, could mark a turning point for the City of Midlothian.

That’s the date elections are to be held for the city council and school board.

What’s at stake is simply a new direction for the city versus a continuation of the politics of the "good ol’ boy network."

I believe Midlothian drastically needs a new direction, and I’ve been actively involved to try and make sure that happens.

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of things going on, but to be perfectly honest, since I lived in the county what happened in the city was of little or no concern to me.

Now that I have "a dog in the hunt" I have a lot of concerns.

We’ve all seen the organization charts in city documents showing the citizens at the top of the heap. I don’t believe it for one minute. Were that the case, taxes and spending would not be at the levels we now see them.

Take for example the per capita debt burden. In other words, the amount of debt carried or owed by each resident of the city.

Ten years ago it was $3,492 yet in 2008 it’s up to $8,551 per resident. That’s a huge increase.

Perhaps some of it was necessary, but I have my doubts about all of it in totality.

It’s hard for me to understand, but some people believe those bonds aren’t a debt to be paid back, they’re just sold to others to raise money.

Encumbering their property with debt never seems to enter their mind when they vote on them.

Taxes have risen accordingly. Ten years ago the tax rate was $17,452.

Yet in 2008 it was up to $.650 and projected not to change next year. Again, that’s a huge increase.

We have a city council passing restrictive smoking and parking ordinances.

The parking ordinance affects some and not others, or perhaps doesn’t affect some but affects others.

It’s all decided on a case-by-case basis and just depends on who you are or the mood of the enforcer that day.

This election brought out a group purporting to tell the truth about the issues – as if those of us supporting the challengers to the status quo aren’t capable of it – but they just published a fabricated e-mail which they attribute to Mr. Bill Redding when the fact is Mr. Redding did not write it and was not even aware of it. Now, that’s truth-telling if there ever was any.

I am very pleased that this election is putting plenty of folks on notice that as of right now there are a lot of us out here who are watching what they do and how they do it.

We will be vigilant, we will pay attention and when things are not right we won’t be silent. When tax revenues are not spent carefully and properly, we are going to speak up.

When debt is taken on and it’s not for a critical thing we are going to make a lot of noise.

Robert Tracinski wrote a wonderful piece called "The Washington Conundrum." It was about disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer, but contains truths about any government official.

He pointed out the basic problem of government is the fact anyone who really wants to wield power is, by that very fact, the last person who should be allowed to do so.

In his piece he goes on to say that if you take away the love of liberty, power attracts, rewards and promotes the most corrupt types of individuals.

According to Mr. Tracinski, without the love of liberty, we don’t get George Washingtons in public office we get self-aggrandizing thugs.

Yes, May 9 is an important date. It’s an important election.

I trust the people will decide they want things to change.

They will vote to put new people in charge of the direction of this city so we can look with pride to the way things are moving rather than shaking our heads over how things have been.

Please get out and vote if you haven’t already. Remember, your vote does count.

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