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Show voters a plan

April 23, 1997

This past Sunday Herald-Mail reporter Guy Fletcher looked at the candidates who, 18 months before the race, are lining up to join the race for Washington County Commissioner. The interest in serving the public is welcome, but the potential outcome is scary.

Given the public's anger about the county's water and sewer debt, there is a possibility that many candidates will run on a platform that basically says "Throw the bums out!"

Assume for a moment that argument carries the day. Then what? The debt, or at least a large portion of it, will still be there. And there are other issues - education and law enforcement are two that come to mind immediately - that will demand some creative thought.

In education, recent immigrants to this country have demonstrated that obstacles like language and an unfamiliar culture can be overcome, if parents value education and communicate that idea to their children. For some reason, too many parents and children here see school as time to be served, instead of an opportunity to learn skills. If you're thinking about running for office, think about this issue, then show the voters your plan for dealing with it, in cooperation with the school board.

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On law enforcement, the transportation access that makes this area attractive to certain industries also makes it accessible to drug dealers, many from out of state. How can all local jurisdictions cooperate to chase these criminals back home, and reduce demand for their product here?

Promising to "get tough on crime" isn't enough; the area needs more jail space, more treatment programs and better deterrent measures for young people. Show voters your plan.

On the water/sewer issue, getting comercial/industrial customers to hook on seems the only viable answer (aside from rate hikes) to cut the deficits and pay down the debt. What lure will bring business here?

Again, show voters your plan. Just saying "I'm not them" is not enough to convince anyone you'll be any different.

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