Are voters ready to hire leaders?

Published 12:20 am Sunday, May 1, 2016

In just more than one week, voters in the City of Natchez will head to the polls and vote.

With a few strokes of their fingers on an electronic touchscreen, voters effectively will write something in the neighborhood of $1 million in payroll checks over the terms of those elected to positions in city government.

As voters, we don’t often think about the amount of monetary control we have merely by our vote.

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Too often, we simply select the most well-known or most popular candidate without giving much thought to the fact that we’re hiring them to do an important job for us.

Citizens elect representatives in government, but all too often, it’s easy for people to forget how the organizational chart needs to look. Government shouldn’t be a top-down kind of pyramid with an elite set of leaders on the top and all the rest of us below. Quite the opposite is true. What we need is more of a funnel in which all of the people are in charge and are most important. The folks at the bottom, the elected officials, work for the people above them.

That visual, perhaps, can help people understand just how important it is that we elect good, capable and trustworthy people to positions of authority in city government. We give them lots of money — collectively — for their public representation, but we also put them in charge of millions and millions more in public spending.

The role of city government is an important one, and that’s why we urge voters to get informed about which candidate may be the best steward of public money.