Editorial: Elected officials need to show up | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

Editorial: Elected officials need to show up

1172903_web1_1106640-98e0b8f6ca1f497895237bb0da031863
AP
In this March 22, 2019, file photo, a stone painted with the word “VOTE” rests on the window sill of an art gallery in Peterborough, N.H.

OK, prospective office holders. Let’s think about this.

You’re about to take a step toward holding a real responsibility. If you go through the primary process on Tuesday, you could win nomination and move on to the general election in the fall.

You could end up as a leader of your township or your borough, your school district or your county. That’s something important. It touches people’s lives. It makes a difference.

But it doesn’t work if you don’t step up and do your part.

Being an elected official is not something that starts with the primary and ends with the election. That’s just the prologue.

The real job is what happens after you take your oath. You show up — often for little or no money — and you do your job the way it is laid out by law. You listen. You make decisions. You represent the people whether they voted for you or not. But showing up is the key first step.

Monessen Mayor Matt Shorraw has not been to a council meeting in about a year. Elected in November 2017, his first official meeting would have been January 2018.

Shorraw claims he is protesting “the public corruption and white-collar crime” which he says has “dominated Monessen for decades.”

Fine. Protest it by resigning.

Government needs people to govern, and that means showing up.

State Rep. Justin Walsh, R-Rostraver, has introduced a bill that would permit the removal of a municipal elected official who didn’t attend more than half of a year’s scheduled meetings.

That seems fair. Don’t show up to work half the time and your boss will definitely want you gone. If your kid doesn’t go to school every other day, you will definitely hear from the principal.

Our communities need more people to get involved. More people have to participate, whether that means going to meetings and sitting in the cheap seats or holding a gavel and getting a vote. Too many slots on many municipal ballots are empty, leaving jobs undone or forcing governments to hire someone to do them.

What we need is more people who show up.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.