Experience is the best teacher

Published 12:15 am Sunday, December 9, 2007

For centuries societies have recognized the critical importance of trusting the elders in the group.

In a match between experience and intelligence, we’ll take experience any day.

And today, we pause to listen to some of our community’s experience in our “Experience factor” article.

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In the piece we asked several former or “ex” public officials what they see as our area’s biggest issues.

Their answers were not intended to be critical of any current office holders. The aim was to pick the brains of the people who have the experience of being in the trenches of public office and survived.

Interestingly, a few of those with whom we spoke mentioned the ongoing differences between the city and county governments and the internal “splits” on the boards.

Too often votes are split consistently indicating some people are voting with their friends rather than with their hearts.

Two of the “ex” officials suggested a consolidation of city and county government. That continues to be the most logical, most progressive move our community could make. But it will only happen when public officeholders agree to do what’s right for the whole, instead of what’s best personally.

In addition, still other experienced former leaders pointed to infrastructure problems — poorly maintained roads and a lack of recreational facilities — as key issues facing the area.

If we’re supposed to learn from our history to avoid repeating it, perhaps the best place to start is by listening to and learning from those people who led us to where we are today.