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Don't sit idly, action needed now
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Editor, Sometimes we get what we deserve. Let me explain. The other day, I entered a store and the cashier charged me 10 cents more than the price tag said. I pointed it out and she said I would have to wait until she opened the register and then get a manager to approve the correction. No apology, no explanation.
She just looked at me like I was bothering her. No other customers were there so I said it is only a dime and left.
Today, I went to a restaurant and sat down to eat. I did not get a drink until after I ate, and afterward was never offered a refill. The food was cold and no service person ever came to inquire about my service. I never got a ticket, so I went to the cashier to pay and leave. I received the normal, “How was your food?” to which I made a very distinctively unsatisfied reply. Everyone looked at me like I had horns coming out of my head. I simply paid and left.
Some time back, the city of Hinesville told us we were getting another service fee (can you say tax?) levied against us. When it passed, I called my representative and expressed my dissatisfaction.
I asked him point blank, “How did you vote on the issue since none of your constituents were happy with the new fee?” His answer was “Everyone else voted for it, too.” I was livid. He was supposed to represent me, not the other council members. I said to heck with it and just hung up.
Our governor cuts spending to the schools my grandchildren attend.
They get sent home so the teachers can be furloughed. My friends who teach are sent home without pay so the state can have more money to spend on our representatives’ pet projects. We sit back and complain and say, “Oh well, there is nothing we can do.”
The federal government cuts funding for things like education, medical treatment, homestead exemptions and services for our citizens while spending billions in foreign countries. The cost of food goes up while the cost of gas climbs outrageously. We say, “Oh well, there is nothing we can do.”
Now the city officials — who we elected — vote themselves huge raises while wringing every possible penny from us in the form of taxes, fees and fines for posting signs that citizens put up when they’re trying to raise enough money to pay the taxes, fees and fines, and there is nothing we can do.
How many letters and comments have citizens made about the lack of code enforcement on abandoned vehicles, junk vehicles and illegal businesses in residential areas? In response, we are told that the city is going to add new fines for new code violations when they fail to address the ones we already have.
If citizens complain about our elected officials taking trips at our expense, staying in five-star hotels at our expense and paying travel expenses for family members, the way our elected officials fix the problem is to vote themselves huge pay raises and try to make us feel good by saying it won’t take effect until 2012.
It seems to me it is time for people to accept that we can either get what we deserve by doing nothing, or get rid of the status quo and get what we ask for. As long as we accept the way we as citizens are being treated, we will continue to be treated that way. Get involved. Become active in how our elected officials spend our money. And when election time comes, make sure they know the citizens are the ones who are supposed to have the final say in all matters.
We elect people to act in our best interest and we should accept no less.
— Charles Woodall
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