Political Column - The Life of Judgment in Politics

On November 14th, 2022 a meeting took place at Dalton Township Hall in which the Board of Trustees made decisions concerning several items of import. In addition to the items that were voted on there were also a few that were discussed to determine a direction moving forward. These will be covered below. Each decision requires a judgment call.

You can commonly hear people proclaiming to be non-judgmental. Sometimes this comes from a good place, trying to be understanding and accepting of others. Often there's an avoidance of wanting to make a decision, and if it's a situation that doesn't need to concern us then that can make sense. But understanding or compassion are not the same as acceptance or approval, an important difference that is often overlooked.

Many times I have contemplated the life of grass. It grows as fast as it can, getting eaten by animals, trampled underfoot, cut, rained on, snowed on, burnt in the sun, and yet it perseveres. Its resilience is defiance in the face of incredible and inescapable strife and struggle, all to fulfill the inbuilt destiny encoded deep within its identity. Each piece of grass must judge whether its roots will grow toward or away from water, whether its blade will lean toward or away from the sun. Some things are good, some things are bad, we should move toward some things, and away from others. Life requires judgment, from the most basic to the most complex.

This applies to everything in life, and on a meeting agenda. The board approved adjustments to the budget and eleven motions for resignations and appointments on the Board of Review, the Planning Commission, and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board accepted an 11,500 dollar bid for two pieces of property on Drexel Rd. and Putnam Rd., rejected a low bid for a parcel on River Rd., and approved a land sale request on E Daniels Rd. The board approved selling an old truck, paying for repairs to the township hall roof, contracting with the Village of Lakewood Club for zoning administration services, the treasurer going to small claims court to collect delinquent taxes, and changing the approval process for residential solar panels. Each of these votes was unanimous with the six members in attendance in agreement. There was an ordinance for water policy that split the board vote equally, three to three, meaning that the motion failed. A difference in judgment.

The board also discussed three non-voting items. If the property owners on a lake want to move from having chemical treatments to doing mechanical cutting of weeds then they can do a petition, and it seems that with fifty-one percent of signatures the treatment would be changed. The board is comfortable moving forward with changing our maintenance supervision position from hourly to salary, and moving forward with the food sovereignty ordinance.

Each of these items is a judgment to move toward or away, to lean into the sun or to take a step back, to grasp water or to withdraw our reach. We judge to begin, to continue, to end. Judge with understanding, judge with compassion, judge to live. Vivo, Amo, Disco, Judico (I live, I love, I learn, I judge).



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