Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Disenfranchised

It is the political season in our little corner of the world. The most contentious of the races will most likely be for three city council seats in Coeur 'd Alene.

The filing deadline has passed and it would appear there are many who are dissatisfied with the direction the city is going. This happens when elected officials think they know what's best for the community without input from the community.

I have watched the politics here for several years now and have some thoughts. It would appear there are two groups of citizens who are disenfranchised from the power structure. Those who are long time residents, many low income families living in older sections of town much in need of attention. And the newcomers. Those who move to the area for a more pleasant way of life than they had.

The newcomers are often disparaged for wanting the "simple" life yet demanding goods and services they had from whence they came. In their defense, there are some expectations that are justified. Businesses to return phone calls, clerks to be polite and know how to make change, appointments kept to name a few.

Newcomers bring with them knowledge from the outside that is often castigated. If one dares to question a process or a politician or a decision one is easily branded as being anti everything. In reality it would appear those doing the castigating are the most anti everything of all.

On the other side of the spectrum are those who have no voice at all. Many in these circumstances are so more to economic climate than ability. The quantity and quality of jobs are just not available for them to climb out of a bad situation.

It would seem a number of candidates are recognizing this and bringing it to the public's attention. Maybe the huge developments and high rises that are changing the complexion of the town aren't the best thing for it. How many of the million dollar plus residences are being sold to those who are going to live here year round and actually contribute to the community? In the current slump how many of those structures are going to sit empty and generate little if anything for the community? Booms are cyclical . Slow downs are inevitable.

How many of the tax dollars going to support this manner of development might be better spent on those who do call the city home and need help to sustain their businesses and neighborhoods?

It would seem the area is at cross roads. Which direction to go? Bigger for the sake of bigger full speed ahead or a look back at the basics to make sure they have first been met?

I'm glad to see a large field of candidates. I'm anxious to hear new voices and reasoning. The elections are very important this go round. The future of entire community will live or die on the outcome.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

Very good post... it will be interesting to see if the candidates will consider ALL the residents. There are so many of the residents who are being left behind in the towns that are exploding. The service people of low income and the elderly are definitely being left behind.