To the Editor,
Our recent city council election offered quite a study of the local political scene, both the reaffirming positive aspects and those somewhat tawdry tactics used, both of which were on display. The voter turn out was dismal. Basically one out every ten people who were registered used their voice to choose our city's direction. The rest will most likely complain about city hall not hearing the people's voice or will not care.
Now, to use this space to disparage or gloat about the election's outcome would serve no purpose as the results are what they are. The incumbents running returned to serve us for another term. Among us in our fair city, there are those who will say that the status quo will continue. Well maybe the status quo being the standard is because that is what works. Not being so naive as to not recognize that times and conditions demand a change when the standard no longer meets the need, we should elect at that time those of the ability to meet that challenge. Those candidates wishing to supplant the incumbents should have the temperament and ability to embrace and deliver that change and be able to keep the level of effective representation we presently have. The election results showed the reality of those requirements on each of those who were seeking seats on our city council.
During the campaigns, many concerns were proclaimed. Many complaints were lodged against city government. Yet most were paltry attempts to gain attention. The viability of truth in each became not a matter of stark contrast between true or false but rather the degree of shading the truth to both denigrate the reality and to shine light on the possibility of perceived wrongdoing by the incumbents.
Let me example, if you will allow.
Several campaigns highlighted the present city budget being passed by only three people. That is true. Yet the budget was not the product of just those three people, as implied. It was the product of many people, those who compiled the information, came up with what is needed to run a growing city and to meet the needs of we, the citizens of Waxahachie. These were employees of the city doing the work we pay them to do and doing a very good job getting it done. Those being affected by the budget included our police, our fire department, those departments that provide the basic essentials to everyday life we all enjoy as well those departments that make the quality of our living here something we can be proud of. In addition, it was not just three people that approved the budget but those who they represent, not just those who voted for them but by the totality of those in Waxahachie they took to represent when they took their oaths of office. That is who approved the budget and what they approved. So to suggest that only the interests of three people were served by the passage of the budget and were for more taxation by not supporting an insignificant tax decrease would be less than candid.
To stay within the simplicity of that logic, it can also be said that the dissenting vote against the budget was against funding our city, not paying our police, not providing playgrounds for our children or wanting to fix our roads over a publicity stunt and cheap political ploy. One person wanting to bring Waxahachie to a halt and to not give the services we pay the taxes to receive.
Except, that would not be true.
So you see, anything can be taking out of context. A shading of the truth to elevate one's stature politically by casting shade unjustly.
If a candidate must use such a tactic to be elected, just what are we electing? If a candidate is criticized and then starts pointing fingers at the faults of others to deflect a faux pas on their part, will they do so on the council? Will we elect a candidate who slaps stickers with "oppressed" written on them on everyone's foreheads then promises to remove them if elected? Or do we elect those who represents us for what we are? Someone who shows the goodness we share and have a genuine concern for the welfare of Waxahachie now and has the ability to address the future in the same manner.
The election was a mandate on the decency we still have.
Yes we are changing. Whether that is for the good or the worse will all depend on the attitude we take as citizens, as our representatives, as a candidate. We must take the high road. We must be our best in order to elect our best. We must be honest. We must be kind. We must be truthful, not only to each other but to ourselves. For if we stay and play in the mud, it will be hard to have the clarity needed to move forward.
And we are so much better than that.
Alan Fox, Waxahachie