The Pryor Times

Opinion

March 29, 2012

The role of ‘Citizen Carson’

When I read of the passing of Citizen Doug Carson it brought to mind a lot of memories for me as an elected person.

I first met Citizen Carson not long after Mayor Carl Curry appointed me Assistant City Attorney here in Pryor. He came to most all the meetings and, quite frankly, was a thorn in the side of the elected officials. But he was always very cordial, though adamant, about his positions. I ended up spending many hours on the phone with him on multiple issues over the years.

And later, when I was elected to the House of Representatives, I went to Oklahoma City to find that the Attorney General, State Auditor, and Governor's offices were all very familiar with Citizen Carson. Legislative assistants who had worked for other Senators and Representatives also knew of Pryor's Citizen Carson.

I always felt a healthy respect for Citizen Carson and enjoyed our conversations/debates as the case might be. That’s because Citizen Carson was one of a dying breed of citizen that cares enough to ask a few questions. Right or wrong, he cared enough to challenge the elected’s thinking/reasoning on an issue.

Make no mistake about it, the Citizen Carsons of the world don't make it easy for the elected. But the Citizen Carsons of the world single-handedly help keep us elected folks accountable for our actions and our votes. An important role that should never be forgotten. Thanks Citizen Carson.

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