‘We need more people’

By RON DeCHARD

Have you noticed lately that the majority of elected officials in this county feel they do not answer to their constituents? Now I’m not saying all of them, but there seems to be a large number.

Take for example the Cassadaga Valley School Board which is trudging forward with its plans to close its elementary school after numerous people came to them opposed to it, some even with petitions.

Many elected officials in this area are not listening to their constituents lately and it has me wondering why. Many times a week you can read the stories in the local newspapers and see the editor and a few other people questioning this.

The problem is many of these elected individuals run unopposed for their office. Some for many terms. This makes them feel empowered as they are unchallenged. That fact appears to be that many people do not want to get involved pure and simple.

I recently spoke to one of my fellow village residents regarding the fluoridation issue that we faced in our village. This individual expressed their favor for this measure and I encouraged them to come to the meeting and get involved. The response I received was, “I don’t want to give up my time this evening.”

It’s a serious problem when an elected body feels it does not answer to its constituents. It’s just as serious a problem when the people do not demand they do so.

As a voting populace we need to start holding these elected officials accountable for their decisions. If they show by their actions they do not feel the need to vote what the majority of the people who elected them say, then they need to be remembered come election time.

We tend to forget these issues and when someone runs unopposed it makes it all the easier for them to continue on their path.

We need more people to come to meetings.

We need more people to ask questions.

We need more people to state their concerns and beliefs.

We need more people to run for local offices so the voters have a choice come election time.

We need more people to stop and say, “Wait a minute.”

Notice I use the word people a lot?

Most of all we need more people to say, “I’ll give up my evening. It’s worth it.”

After all it is, isn’t it?

Ron DeChard is a Cassadaga resident and Village Board member.