Political Column - On Leaving Office

On March 15th of 1783 George Washington gave a speech to his army to stop them from overthrowing Congress, which probably would have ended with him being king. Having won the war and stopped himself from becoming king, Washington retired to live out his life on his farm. During and after the Constitution was being debated he wrote multiple letters saying that he didn't want to be President. Nevertheless, in 1789 he was elected President and borrowed money to travel to New York for his inauguration. In 1792 he had James Madison write a farewell address because he wanted to retire after his first term in office. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, who agreed on very little, both convinced him to stay. In 1796 he had Hamilton write a new farewell address stating that he would not do a third term. Finally, Washington went back to his farm.

One of Washington's heroes was Lucious Quinctius Cincinnatus. A legendary historical figure who was made Dictator in 458 BC of the ancient Roman Republic. Cincinnatus was called from his farm to lead an army. Immediately after he won the war he once again retired to his farm. There are many similarities between Washington and Cincinnatus. Before either of them there was Solon.

In 594 BC Solon remade the Athenian Constitution with such important changes as eliminating debt slavery. Then he sent himself into exile for ten years so he wouldn't be tempted to hold power, and had adventures learning from priests and philosophers in Egypt, building a city in Cyprus, and counseling a king in Lydia. From beginning to end he wrote poetry that we have fragments of.

Of Washington, Cincinnatus, and Solon, I'm most like Solon in my adventurous, philosophical, and poetic bent. For instance, here's a poem on our current cultural and political situation:

Conciliation the people spurn,
rising tempers of political friction.

History's wisdom study, think, and learn,
claimed by just a small fraction.

Wheels of civilization turn,
progress a probable fiction.

Passions of the people burn,
flames rise with political faction.

Like Washington, Cincinnatus, and Solon I am looking forward to leaving office. My term ends in November of 2024. Big improvements have been made in due process, the business park, farming and other ordinance reform, the sewer finances, making meeting packets public, recording and posting meetings, etc., and all of those are continuing. I still have a lot to do. From large and important things that could greatly effect lives like voting to increase the fire operating millage, to smaller but still important things like redoing the township website, to extensive and tedious tasks like establishing a systematic street sign replacement process, to things that I'm not sure if I can achieve within a reasonable budget like improving the boat ramps.

Knowing that I'm leaving office gives us an opportunity. I know that some people think about running for office, but they're not sure. It's an odd organization. It's a 2 million dollar budget, which would be a small and simple business. But instead of being simple the township has a complex governance structure with boards, commissions, committees, and divisions. That can be difficult to understand and intimidating to tackle. So, if you are interested in seeing and talking more about what the township supervisor role entails, while considering whether you feel that you have a moral obligation to run for office and want to voluntarily confront the challenge, then reach out to me and we can meet. You can come into the office and we can go over how things work. We can replace the normal rivalry of campaigning against each other and bring reconciliation to the fore, switch out competition for cooperation. My direct line at the office is 231-332-6700 and my email is Supervisor@DaltonTownship.org. Contact me any time.



Popular posts from this blog

Why is Slytherin House Bad?

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 1 of ?

Pro-Global Warming

Donate to Jeff's Work