As the uncertainty of our democracy looms during a tenuous presidential impeachment trial (by the time you read this, I’m sure Trump will have been acquitted and free to make awkward faces and slur words once again in the highest office in the land), I ask that you take heed, my fair readers and biggest fans. As a seasoned government official, I can tell you significant changes are being made on the ground floor of township politics.
Last Tuesday, as a commissioner of my township, I spent three hours grinding out solutions for everything from buses breaking the speed limit to buses using our neighborhood as a cut-through. There was a lot of bus talk, but there was also sewage, landslide, and police-staffing talk.
You can have no idea how much piping and, in turn, red tape runs under your neighborhood until you talk to your local engineer. It’s complex, hard to understand, and surprisingly interesting.
“Three hours would have broken me,” you say. That’s why we’re taken care of — $63 of my tax payers’ dollars every two weeks to be exact. I think. But I’m not in this for the money. I’m in this because I voted for myself and accidentally got elected.
Now, I have had a lot of exciting moments in my life that have single-handedly redefined my perception of my own ego. Awards have been awarded; books have been published. You get the picture. I’ve lived long enough to have fallen ass-backwards into a handful of decent accomplishments. But I have never felt more powerful than when I got to vote on the installation of two new neighborhood stop signs.
Truman dropped the big one. FDR created the New Deal. G.W. Bush was The Decider. And Josh Oswald, a humble public servant and prolific columnist, slowed down the cars at a previously dangerous four-way stop with a slight blind spot.
Despite my tongue-in-cheek summary of the council meeting, I do take my role very seriously. I’ve lived in my township for over five years and am invested in its future for my family, my neighbors, and its future residents. My neighborhood is great, and I hope to make it even greater again. Wait. That came out all wrong. Damnit.