People should have say in commissioner terms

Published 10:05am Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What is wrong with government these days?

Wow, now that is a loaded question that could summon up quite a litany of responses. In a nutshell though, many people would likely tell you the major issue with national, state and even local government is that the people don’t have a say in what becomes law or legislation.

Polk County this week took the opportunity to ensure yet another decision isn’t taken out of the hands of the people.

At Polk County’s March 18th meeting commissioners discussed the consideration of changing commission member terms to four years, following a resolution recently approved at the Polk County Republican Party convention.

Monday night about a dozen people spoke up saying they were concerned about the proposal and that, if nothing else, the decision should be put to a referendum.

The Bulletin discovered late yesterday that the resolution would not be sent to Raleigh and we think that was the best move.

A question like this should be posed to the people of Polk County at large and not be left to state legislators to determine. Polk County may be one of only nine counties left to not allow for all four-year terms on its commission, but that doesn’t mean the county is one of nine in the state that are wrong.

We’re not saying there couldn’t be benefits to four-year terms. With four-year terms, candidates would not be spending large amounts of campaign money to only get in two years of work. With the change the community could potentially have four years of stable leadership from individuals allowed the time to settle in their positions and really make a difference.

And, we’re sure other positives could be found, but there are also negatives. Currently if an elected commission candidate ends up serving inappropriately or does not listen to the people, then there is a means of voting in someone new. Right now, under the current system, commissioners who do not receive the most votes understand they have two years to make that impact and hopefully attempt to get to work quickly.

Regardless of the positives and negatives of the actual proposal, the issue we see standing out most is that the decision should always be up to the voters here and not politicians in Raleigh.

Commissioners will discuss the issue again April 1.

– Editorial staff, Tryon Daily Bulletin

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