08/04/06 — The good folks: Most officeholders serve communities very well

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The good folks: Most officeholders serve communities very well

There seems to have been an endless series of stories this year about improper conduct on the part of public officials.

This creates a tendency to turn people off of “politics.” It might even discourage some from considering seeking elective or appointive offices.

But wait! Let’s take stock.

Consider just the General Assembly itself. We have hundreds of people serving in the legislature. And we can count on one hand those who have been in the news for alleged or admitted misconduct.

The vast majority of our officeholders — those elected and those appointed to responsible positions — serve us with dedication and integrity. And many serve at significant personal sacrifice.

For the most part, especially those representing district jurisdictions, they have lived among us for years. We have been able to observe them in their private lives, the work place, and in their contributions to civic endeavors.

They are good people and respected by the citizens of their communities. Were this not so, they would not be elected to high office.

And their performance in office is constantly monitored and subject to accountability in each election.

They also share our disappointment when a few in their numbers find themselves in the public spotlight for improprieties.

Misconduct casts an inevitable shadow. But it shouldn’t dim the appreciation we have for those who serve us well.

Published in Editorials on August 4, 2006 11:19 AM