As we say farewell to 2021 and its many challenges, we have an opportunity to plan for a better 2022. Some 2021 issues remain unresolved, and new ones will arise. However, the basic principles of county government service remain sound and strong and provide the guideposts for a successful year.
The fundamental rule of county government service is that we govern with the consent of the governed. The electorate evaluates all county officials every four years. Earning a passing grade requires a constant commitment to communicate with our citizens and to implement county policies for the greatest benefit to all. While some will not agree with your decisions, adhering to this rule will fulfill your duty and preserve our democratic system.
Maintaining a professional, courteous attitude can be a challenge, especially toward those who exhibit hostility and engage in destructive politics. Remember that the Golden Rule applies to everyone. Try to extend the benefit of this Rule to negative commentators, and gently inform the ignorant. While sometimes deserved, a harsh response directed toward a constituent will not enhance your goals.
To inform others, we must first educate ourselves. Seek additional opportunities to expand our knowledge of county government and its responsibilities. Implement new, efficient programs and practices whenever possible.
Finally, communicate and cooperate with other local, state, and federal officials. County government provides the essential services required by all levels of government and our citizens. Too often, other officials are unaware of the role of county government, the resources needed at the county level, and the local discretion vital to effectively meet these needs. Before the next legislative session, let’s make a concerted effort to engage our legislators on a personal level and provide information to assure their support for county government.
In 2022, let’s resolve to improve the performance of our duties while preserving the sound, fundamental principles of county government.