Shift back to more power locally
One of our main platform points is that we’d push for a return to much more power being in the hands of local people in local communities – like it was in the “old days.” This means, basically, that what goes on in a local town council meeting would carry as much weight, if not more, than what goes on in the ‘Halls of Congress.’
With this paradigm, whoever became president would have to have a good understanding of the rudimentary workings of town government. I do. For instance, when I worked for the Sandusky Register newspaper in Northwest, Ohio, back in the early ‘80s, I was assigned to a Bureau Office to cover all aspects of Huron, Ohio (pop. 7,000). One of these aspects was “town government.”
For instance for the better part of two years, I was at practically every town council meeting. They were meetings where a gamut of things was discussed. Things like, to name just a few: significant rate hikes for a new water treatment system that the EPA had mandated because Huron was on Lake Erie; proposed police salary raises; the pros and cons of a proposed town road bypass to divert some summer vacation traffic; a major urban renewal project…
One of the many articles I wrote about the latter project is displayed below. Interestingly enough, years later my political platform would call for almost across-the-board downtown revitalization projects in America, so that the now decaying (or in some towns almost dead) downtowns, make dramatic comebacks through downtown revitalization/urban renewal projects, and such. This was once an absolute key to, not only the financial health of a town, but also community building in a town. And it seems, the way things lined up for me with the reporting, I was already getting an education on some of the various dynamics (industrial development revenue bonds, contingent timetables for land development, the strategies for attracting businesses to the project, etc…) of making that happen back then.
Also, for more on our stance on downtown revitalization…
This is a city council scene from the city of Glenwood, Wisconsin. The debate this evening was whether to allow “frac-sand mining” in the area. Unless it’s a hot button issue like this, often few citizens attend these city council meetings anymore. Our administration would put all kinds of power back in the hands of local people so many of these town council meetings would be filled with folks who were much more engaged.
–Joe [WIvoices.org photo]
Years later, much like I did in Huron, I have written a variety of stories about many aspects of Bluffton, Ohio. Some, again, have revolved around the workings of town government, and such. The following two are examples of this...
In 2015, I did a series of articles for my wife Liz’s magazine on economic development in Hancock County, Ohio. I looked at this issue from a wide spectrum of angles. I interviewed the director of the of Hancock County’s Economic Development Corp.; a county commissioner; the president of the University of Findlay; Findlay’s mayor… The article about the mayor follows.
Note: A majority of these particular stories revolved around Hancock County’s success in attracting some significant Japanese businesses to the area. And as a journalist, I reported on all this as objectively as possible. However, my platform stance is that we should be realigning the American economy to, once again, focus primarily on developing local American businesses -- with a “buy American” philosophy -- within a decentralized society. As we should be inspiring, and helping (as would be the case with the Third World), other countries to do the same.