Sunday, June 05, 2005

Politics in a rural setting...

Politics somewhat fascinate me. I can get into some national politics and a little more state politics, but hometown politics take the cake. The reason is because local politics are possibly worse than national politics if given the right setting. Small time politicians take their jobs a whole lot more seriously than big time politicians because they have to answer to their neighbors when they see them in the local grocery store. You can never really find a big time politician around because they are always on the road unless there is a free meal and photo opportunity available.

Unfortunately, most of the time the only people that ever get into rural politics are the people that most likely shouldn't. There are a few that get into it for all the right reasons, but I've known a few that were forced out because they weren't falling into line.

Here where I live there are a lot of things going on at a city level and county level that the citizens around here should rally around but don't because of egos and the right people knowing the right people.

One is the local budget getting passed. Now I live in a rural county that is perennially broke, but every year we have just enough local magistrates to get together and make sure that nothing gets done. They always rally behind one or another to ask for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be placed in either road funds or water funds. They don't want to take anything away from anything else, that might lose them 2 or 3 votes out of the 150 they need to get re-elected, but apparently they think that when a budget is made that there is always a half million dollars setting around collecting dust. Which would negate the whole budgeting process since a budget plans out how we are going to spend our money for the next fiscal year.

Either way, when everyone talks about home much money the county doesn't have, asking for any money muchless hundreds of thousands of dollars is just plain ignorant.

The next issue that is up in the air is a proposed sports complex in the largest city in the county that has a population of a whopping 3,300 citizens. This sports complex has been planned for our beloved children. That's what is behind the planning, the knowledge that we are going to get this complex built so that our children can have a place to play baseball, football and soccer. Among other things.

The only problem with this is that no one at the city level wants any help in the building process. The county has put up $50,000 toward getting the process going. Granted 50 grand isn't much, but it's $50,000 more than the city can put up. Even if the city wanted to put some money toward it they probably couldn't get together more than a hundred bucks.

The mayor even drove out a 30 year tradition of men's softball so the kids could have a place to play baseball. There were only about 12 kids that needed a place to play at the time, but 12 kids take precedence over 150 softball players and their families because they had just the right parents to make some phone calls. Of course the softball league wanted to work it out so that both baseball and softball could coexist, but apparently at the time, one baseball team needed the park 5 days a week so the 10 softball teams had to go elsewhere.

My friends and I were big into softball for about 10 years or so, but to tell the truth, we didn't miss it much and I could have let the sleeping dog lie. Unfortunately the mayor had the nerve to ask why weren't playing softball a year or so ago and that angers me. If I had been there, she would have known exactly why we weren't playing softball.

So this planned sports complex is all being done for the kids. Phone calls where made and strings were pulled... No, yanked so that softball could be driven out and our baseball leagues could be built. It grows every single year and sooner or later they will out grow our softball field.

Unfortunately, because of the mayor and the other local politicians around here, the only kids that are going to be playing in that sports complex are going to be my great-grand children.

I'm still on vacation, but I thought I would get that out. I'll get into the not-so-booming bluegrass tourism project later on.

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