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Opinion

Norton resident says City Council members should vote their conscience on issues

5/1/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I was at the council meeting at Norton [April] 21 and came away with some thoughts that I would like to share with the citizens of this area.

A vote was taken at a previous meeting to support the state Issue 1 on the May 6 [Primary] Election. It does not matter in the context that I am discussing what the issue is about. Some of the council representatives had voted no and one had abstained from voting on the resolution all together.

It has been stated by one council member that one is elected to listen to the people and “not” tell them how to vote on issues such as Issue 1. I disagree with that statement. A representative is elected by his constituents to inform them as to the validity of an issue before council and to recommend how he or she as a representative would suggest the citizen vote on a statewide issue! If that council member has his finger on the pulse of the community, then they should know how the people in his city would or should vote on a certain issue! As far as abstaining from any vote, it should “not” be done unless a vote in the affirmative or negative would “personally benefit the member casting the vote financially more so and more directly than any other citizen who has no vote.” As far as voting “no” on an issue, it means to me that you are against the issue itself!

Do not sit on the fence on issues that come before elected bodies. Educate yourself on the item and vote the way your conscience tells you is the best for the people that you “represent.” When I elect an individual to council or any other office, I expect that person to vote when they have an opportunity to vote, not to sit idly by and let the other members cast their vote, and me as one of their constituents have no say on the outcome! I also feel if you are for an issue, say so. Do not be afraid of making the wrong decision by making no decision. We already have a person in Washington who does enough of those actions.

Jack Gainer, Norton

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