Politicians need to be upfront

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 1, 2009

You better watch out.

You better not cry.

You better not pout, I’m telling you why.

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The public eye is coming to town.

Yes, that’s correct, the public plays the part of Santa Claus for elected officials, keeping a watch out for naughty behavior.

That behavior can range from the most heinous public corruption to minor infractions and everything in between.

Yet, amazingly like the mischievous children of the world, scores of elected officials seem oblivious to the fact. Generally, the public finds out what’s going on if someone’s trying to keep a something secret, or in the case of promises made, but not kept, the public will remember.

The most recent case in point was the late-month admission by Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton that his campaign “plan” to give free water to city residents during December went down the drain months ago.

Middleton and other politicians would gain more political favor or retain what they have by simply being upfront about such issues in the future.

Why not announce the problem the very minute it arises rather than wait for it to be uncovered by a citizen or a newspaper?

Any public relations expert will tell you that you’re better to take the lead and come out early when you know there’s a problem rather than sit back and hope mom and dad don’t notice the vase is broken.

Like parents, voters have a relative short memory of such things, unless they begin to feel duped again and again.