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Quit griping: get to work

schmidt

The favorite pastime of the day seems to be railing against government. Isn’t that what these editorial pages are for? If you can’t find a good word to say about your government, then I think you ought to join it. Of the people, by the people, shall not perish; or maybe you just want to gripe. We are better than gripers; republic up.

For this republic needs our service if it is to prosper. It’s not just your vote in November, it’s your voice we need. You, my fellow citizen, have a valuable voice to offer to our common good. Keep your AR15’s, keep the stockpiles of ammo and rations, but invest in this republic. I still believe in it. Do you?

If you don’t have the temperament for elected office but you care about your community, here’s a way to serve: look through the list Governor Little updates regularly on his website. Below the banner of the beautiful capitol in Boise there’s a heading “Administration”. Click on it and a list pops down that includes “Appointments”. There is a simple description of how you apply, a link to download and print the forms, then a list of all the appointments that are coming up.

I’ll bet you thought these appointments were just handed out to Brad’s old buddies. Not so. His office is making a strong effort to reach out and include all of us in this process so many disparage. Good for him. Better for us if we show up.

Many of the positions require some professional experience and that makes sense. But even the Electrical Board (which will have 5 vacancies in July) has an opening for an at-large member. If you are passionate about electrical codes, here’s your chance.

I’d encourage you to look into the legal responsibilities of each board. You can look up the duties for the Electrical Board in statute (54-1006). Same goes for the Building Code Board; they have a great website and a contact number to call.

It’s a long list of appointments the governor has to work through. Something ought to suit you.

Keep in mind, some of these boards have a “political requirement”, not just a professional one. That means the governor will be looking for a Democrat or a Republican. Why does that matter? In the best of all worlds, it shouldn’t. But there have been many times in the history of this country, and this state, when partisan affiliation was the test applied to governance. Sorry fact, but it’s true.

The Idaho legislature saw such party politics a few decades ago harming our common good and decided to impose in law a balance. So, there may be a legal requirement that a board have three members from the “majority party” and two from the “minority party”. Such a requirement was designed to embrace balance and service to the common good, not promote partisanship. The good old boy system needed a legal thwart. The legislature gave it.

Imagine that, the Idaho legislature embracing balance. Like I said, it was a while ago. But I respect the concept of balance. I doubt todays legislature would see such wisdom. Partisan affiliation has become the test before service to the common good. We need to show up folks.

I encourage all citizens to participate in this process of governance. Lincoln’s phrase, “of the people, by the people, for the people” was not in any founding document. In fact, he might have plagiarized it from a sermon by Theodore Parker. I don’t really care; it is an ideal I can embrace. I would hope you can too. Quit griping; get to work. Our republic may perish.
 

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