Algonquin Township Trustee Larry Emery Reflects on Governmental Decision-Making

Algonquin Township Trustee Larry Emery made some year-end reflections on his blog, which has permitted me to reprint.

GOD, Government and Guidance- Responsibility: 2nd of a three part series

A poem: “Mr. Nobody.”

The poem below was taken from: My First Book of Poems compiled by Nancy Hall 1987.

“I know a funny little man, As quiet as a mouse. Who does the mischief that is done, In everybody’s house.

“There’s no one sees his face, And yet we all agree, That every plate we break was cracked By Mr. Nobody.”

Who is responsible?

No, I’m not starting out to paraphrase Abbot and Costello’s famous “Who’s on 1st” routine.

Even though, that would be slightly clever.

We all are responsible for something.

All actions cause a reaction and a consequence.

When we make choices, render decisions, or give our opinion, we are contributing to environment of our sphere of influence.

We must understand fiscal responsibility may involve a decision that has rationalized borrowing to “balance” the budget. In a family situation, it involves one or two people and usually just the direct family children.

However, the children are NOT liable for the parent’s debts. They may suffer some consequences if the parents go bankrupt (“lose stuff” and may have move with the family), but again, there credit rating and responsibility to pay are not.

When government borrows, the “children” ARE responsible for the debt if not repaid when they start paying taxes.

They are part of the “collateral” for the loan.

That is a huge responsibility that we have been taking for granted.

We are making decisions for them for something we want today and mortgaging their future resources.

I use the word mortgage because most governments are using 30 years to calculate pay off date and how each years budget most include a line item for the expense.

Three things to fix this.

  1. No borrowing without pay off calculation greater than 4 years. Keep the government entity that borrows responsible to pay within a time frame closer to their term of office.
  2. Must have a balanced budget every year. Don’t have, Don’t spend, and pay your bills on time.
  3. ALL line item expense/agencies MUST have a name of a person/agency that is responsible. Example: No more excuses for $217,000 bronze doors for renovations. The examples of waste are numerous.

I have a few notes below that I have used to help me in my decision making. If anyone wants to discuss, send me a note or call. These may be future articles with more details. Please do not blame Mr. Nobody, especially if you are a person in a government role.

Please request money (Levy) or plan to spend (budget) by having a review (audit) that you would be proud of and responsible for.

  1. Contribute by: Listening, Looking, Learning, Lecturing, Leveling, Leading, Lasting
  2. The Conflict chart below: use for when to engage or let slide (Fight or Flight)

Conflict Chart

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