People regularly move into the county. They may adopt pets and sometimes children. They shower these pets and children with love because they chose them. Still others adopt a community. They chose this as their place to call home. They may become highly respected people … until they decide to run for public office.
Have you noticed how similar local officials are? There seems to be an unspoken set of criteria established over time, relating to which candidates are elected. These criteria seem to matter more than policy or platform. There are birthright Quakers, but there should be no birthright politicians.
With a few exceptions, a candidate must have five criteria to get elected: 1. Native born. 2. Life-long resident. 3. Republican. 4. White male. 5. Over 50. The result is a homogeneous group with little energy or creativity; content with the status quo.
Since 2010 or so, we have seen the growth of dollar stores, title loan offices, rent-to-own stores, etc. There are far too many low-paying jobs, and many of these workers receive some sort of public assistance. A 2016 employment study revealed that more than half of those employed earn less than $30,000 and that more people rent than own their home, indicating a dormant economy. How is this acceptable? We can do better.