Choosing local government leaders
by Donald Conkey
November 14, 2013 12:54 AM | 836 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I introduce this column by paying tribute to a good friend and a trusted elected leader. There have been few elected leaders in Cherokee County in recent years as trusted and loved as was Calvin Hill.

I worked closely with Calvin on several legislative proposals over the years, proposals dealing with educating the public on the true history of our beloved United States and the source of our beloved liberty. I will miss his counsel and his leadership skills that often brought diverse groups together.

To Cheryl Hill, and her family, I offer my heartfelt condolences as they grieve the death of their respected and much loved head of their family.

Let me associate the skills I saw and admired in Calvin Hill with these biblical verses found in Exodus 18:19-23. Calvin Hill understood, and lived by these words, words that every American should better understand. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law counseled Moses, as he struggled to deal with the social issues of his day, as did Calvin.

America’s Founding Fathers understood Jethro’s counsel and wove that counsel into the Constitution of these United States. They read: “Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.”

With this said, let me remind the citizens of Cherokee County that with the resignation of our state senator and the untimely death of Calvin Hill, we, as citizens, much now step forward and “provide out of all the people (in Cherokee County) able men (women), such as fear God, men (women) of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”

Elections are never ending. On Nov. 5 there was an election to choose a state senator and council members in several county cities. Sadly, 94 percent of those eligible ignored their duty as citizens and did not vote. There is a runoff Dec. 3, and likely the same 94 percent will again chose to ignore this privilege to cast a vote in choosing who will “rule over them locally.”

On Jan. 7 there will be another vote to replace Calvin Hill in his District 22, and again 94 percent are likely to ignore their duty, and privilege, to participate in what most in the world would give their eye-teeth to be allowed to do — choosing their leaders.

This will be followed by a runoff in February and then comes the primary election in early May where all “we few” (if we are lucky, maybe 10 percent) will choose who will “rule over us” for the next election cycle.

Yes, it is never ending, but remember, “when the wicked rule the people mourn” as America has learned in the past five years, thus the need to seek out “honest men (women) and wise men (women) should be sought for diligently, and good men (women) and wise men (women) ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.”

Good counsel when it was given and good counsel for moving forward with this elongated election cycle, and not gripe.

Have we taken the time to know the new “would-be state senator” or the councilmen and women on the ballot? If not, shame on us!

I hope every citizen who will be called on to help choose their leaders between now and 2016 will double their efforts to become “informed citizens,” citizens who will vote with clarity and knowledge of the issues confronting America today — both locally and nationally.

Remember, ignorance is expensive, especially in today’s political arena.

Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.
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