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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Leave it up to George

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You have heard the old expression, "leave it up to George." This is an expression that has often been said when there is something to be done and no one wants to do it, or they expect someone else to do it. Well, what happens if George does not want to do it?

There are many responsibilities that people are willing to accept. At least they accept them, even though they would rather not. Many jobs in every community are done by volunteers. I recently heard that there are 62 million volunteers in America, and they are volunteeringto do a wide variety of tasks.

However, sometimes "George" has to quit his voluntary job. This recently happened when the Richland Township's keys and records were brought in to the Vernon County Commissioners, who were told that there is no one in the township willing to be trustee or to be on the board.

All of this was turned over to the commissioners, who do not have any authority over the township. They are still looking for someone to take up the responsibility, and as of this week, no one has stepped up to the plate.

Granted, Richland Township had an event that has added to the challenges of the township. Certainly, this has to have been a factor. When the roads are not being maintained and other things are not getting done, it will become even more essential for some people to assume the leadership roles.

While most townships have people to carry out these responsibilities and Richland Township had people in the past to take the responsibilities, perhaps we are living in a different time. Richland Township includes Richards and the surrounding area.

I know that there are several good quality people within this township. Some of these people have carried out these responsibilities in the past and have served their township in many ways. Other township residents are not willing to step up and assume the leadership.

People are busy, but that has always been the case. However, busy people are generally the ones that can be counted on to accept responsibility and to get things done. There seems to be a sense that keeps growing that many people do not want to be involved or to accept leadership roles. Many groups and organizations have difficulty in filling their leadership positions.

Many jobs that need to be done are thankless. Other people are quick to criticize the decisions that are made and the actions that are taken. This includes not caring for the roads the way that they should be taken care of.

There is a lot of apathy among people in our society. Many people just do not care and they do not want to be involved. Still, they care enough to often be the biggest complainers and grippers.

Recently, I was visiting with C.A. Moore, editor of the News Xpress in Butler. I mentioned that we had one township without a trustee and board members. He said that in Bates County during the last election that there were several positions that were left blank.

I have wondered what might happen if we did not have enough people to run for city council to fill the positions. There may be something in the Nevada City Charter or in the city code that will take care of such an occurrence, but I have not researched it. We were fortunate in the last city election to have two people to file for the two positions to be filled.

While many of the governmental entities, like townships, have difficulty filling their positions, we have seen times in the past when there have nearly been battles over who gets the opportunity to serve.

Some people have said that the township form of government should be ended. One person about two years ago visited with me after he had studied the amount of funds each township has. According to this person, there is a lot of money going into the township form of government. Much of this tax money is wasted by having a lot of duplication which would end if the townships were unified. For example, each township must have at least one grader.

There is a strong feeling among many of our citizens that the township form of government should be continued. They feel strongly that keeping the local governments is important. Several years ago, there was a vote in Vernon County to discontinue the township form of government. The strong opinions came out at that time and the issue was defeated.

At that time there was talk of organizing road districts if the township form of government was discontinued. Even now there is talk among some people about organizing road districts. This would keep the areas with the larger tax base from sharing with the other areas. Such a move to organize the road districts would nearly defeat the reasons to do away with township government. There would still be duplication, but perhaps not on as large a scale.

With at least one township not having anyone to elect to the leadership positions, this may be the start of a trend that will happen in other townships. It may be that alternatives need to be considered.

Everything cannot be left up to George, because if George does not want to do it, what is going to be done?

Leonard Ernsbarger
Leonard At Large