Show up prepared to represent

Published 2:49 pm Saturday, July 18, 2009

Elected officials have a responsibility to be prepared to conduct business when they gather for a meeting.

In the workplace, employees are not allowed to simply show up without being prepared to work. We don’t allow our students to show up without their homework.

Still, it is too prevalent that our elected leaders show up to their “job” without being adequately prepared.

Whether serving on a town council, county commission, county school board or as a state representative, it is incumbent upon the individual who has been elected to have themselves ready to conduct the business of their constituents.

Prepared means opening the board packet before you arrive at the meeting. Prepared means being ready to listen, understand and react to what is presented. Prepared means being ready to cast a vote on items which have already been provided such as meeting minutes, board appointments and budget amendments.

It does not mean delaying a meeting while you catch up, ask an irrelevant question or simply grumble and complain. It does not mean reading the minutes while the public waits. It does not mean debating an issue that has already been settled because you didn’t like the outcome.

Simply put, our officials were elected to do a job. We expect them to do it professionally and punctually. We should not have to wait while they do homework that should have already been accomplished.

We wouldn’t stand for it in our place of business or our classrooms and we shouldn’t stand for it from our local elected leaders.