Why do we elect our President, Congress members, governors, commissioners and mayors? We elect them to take care of our country, our state, our municipalities while we go about our business earning a living and raising our families. We can’t do both jobs so we listen to and read what the candidates for public offices suggest how they will run our government.
We select those who we feel are the best for our country and elect them to office. We expect them to evaluate our problems and make the best decisions possible, pass them into law or ordinances and run our country.
One thing for sure is we don’t elect them to come running to us for our approval or disapproval of everything that requires their decision.
This is not the Greek state of old where everyone fell out into the public plaza, listened to their officials’ solution to a problem and then took a voice vote.
I have written about this before and will more than likely do it again in the future. But our elected officials can’t ask us to make their decisions for them. We are not scapegoats for their errors. That’s their job, not ours.
It was only a few months ago that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez considered a straw vote on the issue of funding our public library system. But that has been solved by increasing our library tax to fund our libraries without cutbacks in service and staffing.
Now it is our county commissioners who want to duck the question of Florida International University’s expansion plan and the question of building a new courthouse to replace the original built back in the dark ages.
Both questions have very strong vocal supporters and objectors. If the commissioners can get us to make the decisions rather than them and the mayor, they will be safe from blame and loss of support at the next election. Put into simple terms, it is a chicken way to run a government.
Elected officials, do what is right for the community in your opinion. Make the decision from the dais and don’t ask us to do your job. After all, our commissions and mayor have the time and the support staff to render a proper decision. We do not have the experience, the knowledge or the time to think through the question and come up with the correct answer.
If it goes as currently planned we will be asked to decide on the following two issues:
County Courthouse. Many years ago, the current building was once the tallest building south of Washington, DC. First, the building is far too small to accommodate our needs. Second, it is falling apart from age. We need a new courthouse. Simple? No. the question is how big a building do we need? Where would we put it? What about the old building? Can we afford it? Where will the money come from? Without the answers to these questions we cannot make an educated decision and vote on the issue.
Florida International University. This is a hot question and the commission would love to escape this issue by dumping the decision on the voters. The question? Should FIU take over the current Youth Fair site for expansion? Where would the fair go? Who will pay for the move? What about expansion costs? This is one hot potato issue. No matter what decision is made there will be a lot of unhappy voters going to the polls to thank or remove the commissioner’s on their vote.
We are back to the original issue. Do we elect our officials to make decisions or do we elect them to dump the hot potato issues in our laps.
You know how I feel. Call your commissioners and tell them how you feel.
We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to Kenneth.Bluh@ColumbusCL.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.