Last year was not an exciting time for local politics in our small town. Instead of an exciting campaign for president that you’d hear about daily on our news broadcasts the year before, we would only hear about the fact that the local selectmen for our town were up for re-election. Or we’d hear about a bond issue that had been proposed for passage. So, people had very little to talk or argue about at the local barber shop or ale house. Instead we sat and moaned about how poorly the local baseball team was doing this season, or how the new car designs didn’t justify the annual increases in prices.
Of course, we rarely thought about how important those people who were running for positions like local selectman or county representative were to our daily lives. At least, that was the case until we found that the local swimming pool would be closed for the summer. We’d spent money on new bathing suits, outdoor supplies and equipment so we could all enjoy summer days at the town pool. I’d bought my kids all the gear they’d need using a bed bath and beyond coupon. And I also got some equipment from Bed, Bath and Beyond so we could barbecue food to enjoy while at the pool. But now we found that the pool wouldn’t be available! You can imagine how upset we were. Even while I’d managed to save on our purchases by taking advantage of substantial discounts by using Groupon coupons and promo codes, that didn’t make me feel any better. After all, I would have less opportunity to use these new things thanks to the mismanagement of our leaders.
It seems that the folks elected to represent us had “deferred” the decision to perform basic maintenance and repair work to keep the pool operating, while they spent money to promote some special events they thought would give our little town a better image to some prospective businesses who were considering locating here. As a result, the money that should have been spent to maintain our recreation facilities – i.e., our pool and parks – had been spent to woo some business leaders who ultimately decided our town wasn’t the “right fit” for them anyhow. So now we were without a summer park, a pool or a new business or employer.
Those in my neighborhood found that this is what happens when we fail to recognize that those we choose in “off-year” elections can be more important than those we hear about on the news every night. After all, decisions made in our local government often have more direct impact upon us than those made at the state or national level. For example, people whose homes are close to the park may find their property values suffer if your city fails to keep that park properly maintained. By using Groupon coupons I’d been able to upgrade our kitchen and bathrooms with the latest style fixtures. This helped increase the value of our home during a period when others didn’t because of poor local government decisions. I told my friends that just because there wasn’t a “big name” election coming up they should keep exercising their choices – after all, the right school board member, county clerk, or city councilman may have a greater impact upon your daily life style than the person you send to represent you at the nation’s capital.