Thursday, September 1, 2011

a column about ownership

 Football season starts tonight, I know. I'm supposed to be giving you lines before now. I'm busy. What do you want?
Anyway, here's this week's St. Clair Times column, wherein I become angry about the governor's office being a group of jerks. Feel free to complain, either here or on Twitter. Thanks as always.
I own the place, so I guess it’s my fault

Thursday, I entered the newly renovated courthouse in Ashville for the first time since it was opened. One person I encountered wanted to know where he could direct a complaint about one of the doors not being open.

“I say tell the County Commission,” I said. “They’re the ones who own the building.”

“No, Will,” he said. “You own this building, just like I do. It’s our building.”

It was a poignant moment that probably shouldn’t have been so. The courthouse, of course, is public property. That means it belongs to the public, people like you and me.

If we want to get really technical, everything on Dexter Avenue and the surrounding area in Montgomery is ours, as well. Those state offices and buildings? They’re publicly funded. They belong to us.

This is kind of scary, right?

A friend of mine, who has political aspirations, recently surmised that most people living in America today don’t really want “liberty” in the classic sense.

“Liberty comes with responsibility,” he said. “Who wants that?”

Too true. How many people do you know that couldn’t even be trusted with a ham sandwich? These are the people who have joint ownership — along with you and me — of our government.

(I know some of you reading this saw the part about the ham sandwich and probably thought of the guy who wrote this column. And you know what? That’s just mean.)

That ownership means a great deal of responsibility. If we own it, that means it’s our job to maintain it. And if it slips, well, ultimately, that’s our fault.

Of course, not everyone agrees on our ownership. For the past two weeks, this newspaper has asked the governor’s office — very cordially, I might add — to see the applicant list for the soon-to-be vacant circuit judge’s position in the county. The governor’s office has — just as politely — refused.

That’s right, folks: A public position that receives public funds and hears very public cases is, apparently, appointed privately. There’s been no real reason given for it, either — allegedly, it’s “on the advice of our legal department,” but no one has bothered to say exactly why. It’s basically a giant middle finger to the people of this county … and we’re all apparently just going to take it and move on.

That’s the way things work these days. Which, I suppose, is partially our fault.

1 comment:

-D. said...

Nice. And I bet that friend of yours is a pretty cool dude.