Wednesday, February 28, 2024

It's time to get involved in local politics

| August 26, 2022 7:00 AM

I've recently become politically aware and active like never before in my lifetime. I've never trusted the federal government, except during the Reagan admin. and the Trump admin. AND I've not ever been involved at the local level till 2021.

WHY? Because I felt I had no voice. But now I understand better what my voice can be. If I get involved and show my interest at county commissioner meetings, school board meetings, town council meetings, and such, then I can learn what the local needs are.

IF I know what the local needs are, I can give my opinion and I can gather other people with me to join in to solve the local issues.

But, guess what? There are too many people still stuck in the same boat I was stuck in for a lifetime. Many many Montanans stay out of local government on purpose, thinking that will make their lives more peaceful and regular.

The opposite is true. Non-participation is what has gotten us to this point! For instance, do you know that vacancies on various county boards and commissions and committees and councils are not even voted on anymore?

They slip in new members by keeping a low profile, not advertising vacancies more than one week or so... then it's too late. Then, there's only one person chosen to groom for the open position and they slip in without requiring a vote! There's no one to run against them!

On and On it goes, same old, same old slow government. I'm pretty sure a lot of Montana's and a lot of Lincoln County's government organizations are corrupted.

So I'm determined to join in, learn about it, and then make my voice heard. I'm really hoping to be influential enough to inspire others to join in too.

Please keep in mind that our County Commissioners are the TOP ELECTED OFFICIALS and are tremendously important in their decision making. They affect our lives daily, like the state congress and governor OR like the federal congress and the president, believe me.

Another type of committee that has surprising power are our two Central Committees (one Democrat and one Republican committee, each with 14 precincts/or 28 members within the county).

What does a central committee do? Have you ever heard of anything they do besides go to meetings, invite candidates to speak here and there, and hold dinners?

Actually, they’re quite secretive…. And they seem to thrive while keeping most vacancies within their committee vacant!

I’m writing this letter, expressing my personally educated opinion about our own county’s government. I invite YOU to join in. Actually I dare you to overcome the stigma of a Montanan being politically active on the local scene.

Dianne Hansen, Fortine