If you were elected, don't forget us

There are quite a few municipalities in the area whose elected bodies put aside political party differences once they are in office.

They routinely work on the budget, talk about safety measures and generally get along with each other.

Thatís as it should be.

Anybody who got on the ballot for a reason other than to help his or her neighbors, is in the wrong business, because government is essentially in place to keep people safe and their lives stable.

To those who have ulterior motives, here is a list of orders from your new constituents.

Money:

Handle our tax money with care. Donít spend it on fancy stuff that will not yield us benefit.

Do not tax lower income or older individuals out of their homes and communities with property taxes.

If the time comes for you to decide on voting for your own tax increase, vote against it.

Donít use our tax money to have your own lavish or snobby events.

Remember that there are people who are financially helpless in your district. Come to their aid.

If you spend money to preserve land, make sure we all have access to it. Donít just pay wealthy people not to sell their land.

Politics:

You were elected to carry on the business of your district efficiently, not play competitive games with your colleagues of the other party. Once you are in office, be nonpartisan.

Work together and donít be swayed by people with deep pockets who just want you to vote their way.

Donít use your office as a stepping stone for another office. If you are the kind of person who gets turned on by bossing other people around rather than making life better for them, we donít want you in office.

Your people:

You are our representative of us in a greater body, i.e. a school district or a state district. When you act, listen to what we want and vote accordingly, even if itís not with your party.

Be present at our events and talk to us. Get to know us, and know the customs and culture of our region.

Donít just show up at ribbon cuttings, parades and annual dinners. If there is a community that has an issue, show up wherever they meet and ask how you can help.

Donít lie. We wonít be mad if you make a mistake, but we will be insulted if we find you to be self-serving or grandiose.

We care about dangerous streets, getting our garbage collected and supporting schools that make our kids happy. If thereís a nasty pothole or a road in disrepair, we expect to see you there scoping it out and doing something about it.

Be bright:

You need to have some intelligent knowledge of law, science, government and history.

If you donít know how water gets polluted, go talk to the guys who run the sewer plant, read a book or talk to the people who live downstream.

If you donít know how money works, talk to some bankers, financial advisors, or business owners. In fact, when you are about to vote on any measure, talk to wise and educated experts first. Try to stay smart.

Stay out of our bedrooms, dinner plates and churches. We can make those personal decisions without having to endure the prejudices of our elected officials.

Finally:

Be one of us. Donít dress ostentatiously or drive a luxury car.

When you come to our neighborhood, be nice and respond to our needs. Walk in the barnyard, the sub shop or the ghetto with us, and youíll find thatís all you need to do to get re-elected.