Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign...

We have our own sign infestation - you need only to look around at all the local political signs in yards, swales, poles, public property (including the Casino Building at the beach), rights-of-way - you name it, anywhere seems to be fair game. NEWS FLASH: It's not.

We have to remember that signs do not vote - people do. Let's start talking real campaign reform and eliminate local political signs entirely. They take up a good portion of a campaign's budget - eliminating them will require less money, lowering a potential barrier for those who want to through their hat into a race. Corrugated plastic signs are going to be with us here on earth for a very long time - look how the City of Edmonton handles the recycling of these signs. One of of the supposedly "greenest" candidates has done nothing to use recyclable materials for her multitudinous signs or to set up a recycling program for the signs. Something else that crowns Commissioner Cara Jennings as the Hypocrisy Queen - her third year holding the title.

These really add a blighting influence - do we need another one? Let's ban them all and force candidates to get their name out to the public by walking door-to-door, appearing at candidate forums, other forms of "low environmental impact" media, etc. Doing so would greatly free time to do other things as part of a campaign to get the word out.

Now, as long as we are talking about signs, let's talk a little bit about content. There are two candidates - one that stick-in-the-mud incumbent Commissioner Cara Jennings - that have elected not to display what district seat they are running for. Maybe they think that this "district thing" is old and no one pays attention to it, so why should they? Probably reflects their mindset on other matters as well. What's wrong with this omission you ask? Well, first of all you must live within the district that you want to represent. The basic principle behind this is that you know the people and the physical conditions or your district better than those that do not live in your district. That is just common sense.

Now, yes, everyone in the city votes for every commissioner regardless of where they live. That might be something we have to adjust, but that would be through a change in the charter and a lot of study should go into that before it would ever reach the ballot. But that being the case, it shouldn't give a commissioner the excuse that she/he hasn't paid attention to her/his own backyard while pursuing goals and purposes beyond the borders of Lake Worth. Let's agree that some people have the part of the phrase down: "Think globally..." but need some remedial help on the last and most important part "...act locally."

And, when it comes down to it on Election Day, you have to make a choice between people. By obscuring what seat you're running for makes people unsure about what the other choices are in the race. Overall, not putting your district on your commissioner campaign sign is an arrogant and insensitive act - the voters deserve better and must know who they are voting for and who they are not voting for.

But not by a sign either...