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Publisher's Voice: Get out of your easy chair and do something

Posted 9/18/12

There are many obligations elected officials must meet when serving their constituents. The most basic is to listen and learn exactly what people want from their government, and then make every effort to provide it.

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Publisher's Voice: Get out of your easy chair and do something


No elected official should ever be allowed to hold a position for the purpose of self-gain. To set aside one’s own personal grudges and biases to fulfill the wants of the majority is the mark of a truly dedicated public servant.

Elected officials have an obligation to set aside personal loyalties to individual groups and to individuals.

I am more frustrated with our town than I have ever been in my life. Middletown’s economic and physical security, even our individual freedoms are in more jeopardy than at any time in recent history. Never before have so few dictated the policy for so many.

Borough Council President Chris McNamara refused an invitation to a grass-roots public meeting being organized by Pastor Vernal Simms. McNamara’s reason for not attending? He and the rest of council “don’t want to be beat upon.” That he felt comfortable refusing the invitation on behalf of council, and not just for himself, speaks volumes. That he inadvertently acknowledged there are plenty of people seeking a way to express their frustrations about borough council also speaks volumes.

I’m frustrated, yes, but I refuse to accept the idea I’m helpless. Frustration has led to some of the greatest accomplishments in human history. Time and again, people have channeled frustration to positive ends.
They’ve used anger to get them off the couch.

First, let’s acknowledge that if you’re asking questions like: “Why aren’t things moving the way I want them to?” you should instead be asking: “What can I do to make things happen?”

There is a growing nonpartisan movement of frustrated people who are doing more than complaining - they’re getting involved in the process. It’s fine to vent frustrations in our Sound Off column or on the street but you can no longer just stand on the sidelines and complain.

Become part of the movement. If you’re uncomfortable with an organized grass-roots movement, there are other ways to make your feelings known. Call your elected officials. Attend council meetings. Speak out publicly. Write letters to the editor for our Viewpoints page. Ultimately, our frustration will be our most powerful ally.

Community Public Meeting

Remember the community public meeting to express your feelings will be Thurs., Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at The Event Place, 11 South Union Street.
Middletown Borough Council Meeting?

Also, we understand the next legal gathering of the Middletown Borough Council will be a budget workshop session on Mon., Sept. 24. We do not know the time.
Middletown Borough Contact Information

Chris McNamara: (717) 329-5570
Robert Louer: (717) 944-4798
David Rhen: (717) 460-5234
Scott Sites: (717) 350-9329
Barbara Arnold: (717) 944-4266
Suzanne Sullivan: (717) 944-0698
John Brubaker: (717) 944-6097
Judy Putric: (717) 944-2942
Donald Brooks: (717) 315-2301

McNees, Wallace & Nurick (solicitor): (717) 232-8000
Chris Courogen (secretary): (717) 902-0430