- Northern Illinois to get $8.3 million for state construction projects
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- Roscoe Boy Scout Troop’s tree stand at new location
- Tips for selecting safe toys for kids this holiday season
- Prayer service for World AIDS Day Nov. 30
- Food Bank joins national #GivingTuesday movement
- Lee Hamilton: What lies ahead for Congress
- Rockford Public Schools faces $8.8 deficit, board OKs flat tax, HR chief
- Literary Hook: A holiday tradition: ‘This Thanksgiving, Remember’
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Guest Column: Calling all patriots
By Zachary Baker
First and foremost, these are my feelings and opinions. I am not speaking on behalf of the Village of Rockton or its board of trustees.
I ran to become a village trustee in Rockton to make a difference. When I was going door to door during my campaign, hundreds of people told me how they wanted things to change and how disappointed they were with many of our elected officials. They showed their support in the polls, but now I am becoming more and more concerned. At first, our board meetings were packed. The people were enthusiastic, and some of the board members were on fire. Now, though, after a few lost battles, the seats are nearly empty again. Maybe it was the 4-3 vote approving the mayor’s signature on the final plat for the Cannell subdivision that left many feeling helpless. One can only speculate. What I am sure of is that if no one lets their elected officials know how they feel, nothing will ever change.
My job was NOT complete upon my being elected to public office; it had just begun. The same must be true for those who did their patriotic duty and voted in this last election. Your mission was not complete upon leaving the polling place. You, the people, have more power than any elected official or political office, and it is time to exercise that power. Go to your local village, city and county meetings. Check the agendas. Hold these so-called politicians accountable. If they are not making decisions that are in the best interests of the taxpayers, let them know. You can do that by signing up for public comment before every meeting; you have that right.
We live in the greatest country in the world, which seems to be fading every day. If you can’t even hold your local municipal government accountable, how does anyone plan to make a change at the state or federal level? It starts at home. All of us are busy these days, but our situations will worsen if we do not take control of our own futures. We can no longer go about our daily lives hoping that our elected officials will make the best decisions for us. The ones that are true statesmen and not just politicians will welcome you holding their feet to the fire. Help us preserve the freedoms and principles that make this country great.
I ran to become a village trustee in Rockton to make a difference, and with your help, we will.
Zachary Baker is a resident of Rockton.
From the June 29-July 5, 2011 issue