Bob Mitchell: Advice for Donald Trump
Just in case President-elect Donald Trump might read this and be in the mood to accept some advice from a Democrat, here are a few suggestions.
These suggestions aren't really for the top jobs, but they might do well in deputy assignments, since their way of thinking would be a position of thinking along the lines of the supposed middle class of the country.
They are public servants that are close to the people. Let there be something amiss with a person's road leading to their property in this part of the country and you can bet this elected official will hear about it. Another qualification would be their charge in handling public money.
Road commissioners should have some knowledge of fixing construction problems. They and their employees must also know about equipment needed to adequately perform their duties.
These are skills current appointees, it is doubtful, have ever encountered -- as important as they might be in the common way of life.
Some of these folks under consideration might have been exposed to this service in some phase of their life, a time that is well behind them and out of sight as far as their line of thought is concerned.
While cabinet appointees have seemingly been untouchable for their mistakes -- even before Congress in past instances -- those serving on boards of education can come face to face with district problems at any moment.
To the average person, especially in these parts, these folks handle big bucks annually. For example, the Barry County's collector the first week of December turned over $3 million to the treasurer, most of the distribution going to school districts. This amount might be change on some levels, but on ours, it's substantial.
To be a county commissioner in these parts, a person should have the ability to serve the region from which one was elected, and at the same time balance the need and the capability of the greater area served.
Over my newspaper career, there have been all kinds of commissioners -- those who regularly took part in discussions of problem people brought before them, and others that never a word was spoken in public so far as this one-time reporter was able to hear.
The most chastised of those who might have been before a commission was a Table Rock developer who wanted to close a road, not considering those others it served, but strictly for his own benefit. Needless to say, he was sent home with instructions to solve his problem another way.
It's out of these ranks of experience that could well come department heads, not political hangers-on looking for an avenue for their own benefit.
City council member
As long as it has been since I covered a council session, there is little doubt that these folks today perform their duties any differently than they did 20 years ago. Certainly, there can't be a situation more complex than a past council faced on a scheduled water-sewer rate increase.
The situation posed before the council was to overcome shortages of income in the two departments. A proposed schedule resulted in legal action being filed by a resident. Involved later was an audit ordered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
At one heated council meeting, attended by a DNR representative, the mayor was going to give him time for his report, but only after he would tell the audience who had requested the audit. When the state agency rep refused, the mayor dismissed the council session. The rep changed his mind and told the assembly it was the lawyer for the person filing the legal action against the city.
Heated encounters were once commonplace at council sessions, especially when a person's property or their taxes were concerned. Maybe these situations might be little fish for the sharks in Washington, but they are quite often handled with the dispatch and better decision process than those in halls of department heads in the top levels of government.
A new year
In just three days, our dating equipment or ball point will have to acknowledge we are facing a new year in 2017. We're also will have a new government for a period of four years. For a New Year's prayer, I might suggest asking God to go with the United States of America, to keep her strong and acting in the best interest of the nation's people.
While you are at it, accept a great big Happy New Year's from the Mitchell clan.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.