Read the full post with all comments here. Originally posted 7/26/12 at 10:39 am
I’m in Winchester, Kentucky now, visiting my friend Commissioner Rick Smith and his lovely wife Suzy. Rick has been an elected official in Clark County for more than twenty years. They are lifelong residents; Rick is a cattle farmer, Suzy is a former speech pathologist and they are involved in the community. We had a nice chat last night over dinner about citizen involvement and responsibilities.
Most people know, or think they know, what the elected official’s responsibilities are to the public. They serve the public good and provide services that will benefit the community in an honest and open manner. I asked Rick what he thought the citizen’s responsibilities to the public are in this context. Quite simply, he feels that it is everyone’s duty to vote. How sad that around 40% of eligible voters nationwide and 20% of eligible voters in Clark County come out to vote. Rick would like this to change. Voting determines leadership and future projects. With a population of approximately 34,000, decisions in Clark County are made by those individuals voters trust to act responsibly for the fiscal and social health of the county. More voices might make those in office nervous, but greater public involvement in the democratic process will lead to a better community.
What do you think? Do you agree with Commissioner Smith that an increase in voting will lead to overall improved citizen experiences? What is the public’s responsibility?