CHEERS - To a step in unison. The boards of education in Mayfield and Northville unanimously agreed to send a proposal for the merger of the two school districts to voters for a "straw vote." The September vote will determine whether the proposal should go to a binding public vote in October. The districts are on the road to ensuring they succeed together. We continue to urge voters to educate themselves so they are informed when they go to the polls. They shouldn't base their vote on emotions. These two districts, along with the community, have the opportunity to prove local districts can work together. The board members and administrators of each district have done a thorough job. They are ready to answer any and all questions; don't hesitate to ask.
JEERS - To a sense of dormancy. Members the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce voted two months ago to merge into one organization. In a recent news story, one official said, "Everything's moving smoothly." Smoothly? While we understand final approval has to be given by the state's attorney general's office (no one anticipates the merger won't be approved), where is the progressive action? In two months, no official search committee has been formed to decide who will lead the merger, and no bylaws have been created. A merger plan was submitted to the state, but that's not the same as bylaws for the newly combined chambers. The chamber should know its governing bylaws so it can form a blueprint of what's needed in a CEO. If the chambers are taking some action, they should update their memberships.
JEERS - To having to buy a chance to serve. How many times do we hear, "If you want to make a difference, maybe you should run for office"? For most, it's quite simple - running for office is cost-prohibitive. Just look at the recent report that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has $10.5 million in her campaign account as she runs for re-election. Her challenger, Wendy Long, only has a pittance to support her campaign - at $96,411. Without a system under which qualified citizens of ordinary means can seek an elected position, we will never truly have what Mr. Lincoln had intended for this country: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."