The Pryor Times

May 10, 2014

Demand greatness in local officials

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — If you ordered a steak and the waitress brought you Hamburger Helper, you'd send it back.  If you paid for a Ferrari and got a skateboard, you'd demand a refund.

Why? Because you want to get what you paid for. You feel entitled to at least get what you were promised.

Why then, do we not demand greatness from local elected officials? When it comes to the guys and gals in D.C., there's only so much we can do. They can't hear us complain from here. But local elected folks can hear us loud and clear. They are our neighbors and friends, but they have been entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions in our best interest.

Do we elect people to publicly shame us? Do we want our decision-makers to be involved in personal scandals every time we turn around? Nope.

I think citizens forget they have all the power. This is your community, your home, you have every right to expect the very best.

Demanding greatness is crucial now, during election season, but it's vital every day. Everyone can sound like a winner when campaign spotlights are on, it's what they do in the shadows that determines their character as a leader.

So if you look at your city or county leadership and don't like what you see, remember that all wrongs can be righted.

We take pride in our hometown teams, in our local heroes; so why not take pride in our local leadership?

Expecting great things from our leadership provides accountability and ensures quality.

Demanding greatness, however, starts with ourselves.

If elected officials are supposed to be a reflection of the community, be an image worth reflecting. Engage in your community, educate yourself on what's going on, attend the meetings.

Sure, there are some officials who are elected who take office and go rogue making decisions out of left field and making no attempt to hide their sketchy personal life. But there are others, who strive to do their constituents proud.

For those officials, we should rise to the occasion. They can't vote for what the community wants, if the community doesn't voice their opinion.

Let them see your face at council, board and committee meetings.

Voting for several local positions will open up soon, giving the community a chance to choose the very best.

But remember, in our search for greatness, just because someone's term isn't up, doesn't mean you can't start casting your vote for them to step it up or step aside.