Anniversaries and occasions marked on the calendar are the hardest, but this isn’t my first Father’s Day without my dad. The passage of time makes these days easier but this year.
My ole man was the restless outdoorsy type who shunned gatherings I imagine he’d be cutting the grass on his John Deere tractor, after all the grass didn’t care what day it was. Sometime in elementary school I got him a “World’s Greatest Dad” keychain.
I’ve been accused of lionizing him in the years since his death. Instead the whole picture of a man who was hardened by life experiences, has come into focus. In hindsight, we didn’t always get along; I appreciate the lessons he taught, even though some were difficult to understand back then. I hoped looking at that sentimental token as that mower’s engine turned over and back again, caused a smile to encroach on his face.
I envision him smiling now as I sit at my computer completing articles and opinion columns for a local newspaper. He never saw me move to Texas, but advised that I be prepared to go where the jobs are. I’m sure he would approve, although the state’s economic engine turns at the expense of other necessities, which includes the state’s three-ring-like politics.
Dad believed most politicians were liars, however unreliable most were, he considered it foolish not to follow the goings on at city hall. Their decisions directly impacted his community and the lives of those he loved. After listening to Corsicana’s preliminary budget session held on June 15, I’m inclined to be only slightly more charitable than my father’s stark estimation.
I’ll stipulate, as did City Manager, Connie Standridge, that there several variables in the initial budget document. I hope the final draft demonstrates a shift in priorities, showing substantial and substantive changes in the philosophies of those elected to lead Corsicana.
My aim is not to single out the City Manager, Mayor, or council members, though I would be remiss if I failed to reiterate that the municipal elections usually held in May are now scheduled for November. Presumably, more people will vote in this municipal election than in any other city election in recent history combined. I fail to see the wisdom in two incumbents voting for this budget in its current form.
Of course, there’s a distinct possibility that this budget is nothing more than a tactic meant to strengthen a precariously weak negotiation position, if this was the intent, this draft was a dud.
This budget proposal, and the time wasted discussing it only strengthens the widely-held perception that our elected leaders are feckless.
Even a draft which includes money for the refurbishment of city signs but neglects funding essential services and goes so far as to cut five personnel from the Corsicana Fire Department should be dead on arrival.
Frequently, I discuss the process of governing, however this budget goes beyond procedure. It should make residents wonder, who’s holding the keys and who’s pulling our chain.