Monday, January 16, 2012

We're looking for leaders willing to be public servants

Some of you may be old enough to remember learning about the Soviet Union and Red China back when you were in grade school. Do you recall learning that the communists had regular elections, but only had one candidate? And do you recall hearing that they had near 100 percent turnout to vote for that single candidate? We tut-tutted and tsked-tsked those dictatorships for not giving their people a choice. Those foreign places weren’t like this republican democracy where we have a choice.
Unfortunately, in Rolla we, the people, choose to have Soviet-style elections with only one candidate.
Such is the case in several of the positions to be decided in April. For instance, the last time we looked, incumbent Municipal Judge James T. Crump can expect to put on the judicial robe and earn the $15,000 annual salary without a challenge.
The same is true for three council members: Don Morris in Ward 4; J.D. Williams in Ward 5 and Anthony M. “Tony” Bahr in Ward 6. They’ll pocket their $1,800 per year salary without a challenge.
There’s also a two-year term on the hospital board that has no candidate. The hospital trustee position doesn’t pay a salary, but the board has some mighty nice dinners before their monthly meetings. They often have steak. At one meeting last year they dined on lobster before adopting a budget that included some cuts and some price increases.
Three people are running for the two positions on the school board, so there’s still room for you on the ballot. You won’t get a salary, but you’ll get a nice meal before the meetings. They aren’t quite as fancy as the hospital board’s meals, but we hear they’re filling. Usually the suppers are soups and salads or lasagna prepared by school cooks, but sometimes the school directors get chicken or pizza.
Deadline to file for election to these offices is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.
To file for the school board, go see Nancy McWhorter at the administrative offices in the Rolla Technical Center. To file for city council, go see City Clerk Carol Daniels at City Hall. To file for the hospital board, go see Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett at the Phelps County Courthouse.
We need people with good leadership skills willing to be public servants to file for these positions.
How about you?--RDH

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