Constituent Input and Responding to Other Candidates
No doubt you have heard various Elected Officials at the National, State or local level, at one time or another, use phrases like “constituent input is welcomed” or, my favorite, “my door is always open” or some variation thereof. Since I view myself in terms of being a Citizen Representative, intent on doing the People’s business, and not as a politician in the traditional sense, my idea of constituent input is quite different from the norm as you will discover later in this paper.
When I tell people on the campaign trail that I am genuinely interested in what they have to say about the issues and problems that affect them on a personal level, it is not just as William Shakespeare puts it, “mouth honor, words that the heart would feign deny”; I really mean what I say. Too often, folks from all walks of life, who might otherwise have good suggestions and/or potentially viable solutions to problems facing all of us here in Lincoln County, are hesitant to come forward because facing Commissioners and Staff in a formal setting (the basement of the County Courthouse) can be a bit intimidating to the “average Joe”. Realizing this, my Candidacy approaches it from a different perspective; I am willing to go to the People instead of them having to come to me (as a would-be Commissioner).
Over a twelve year period as a county Harbor Commissioner, I found that meeting people informally in a non-threatening setting, such as at the beach, County park or even the parking lot at Wall-Mart, was the best way of eliciting valuable information as to what they (the residents) would like to see us (the Commissioners) do about given situations. You would be surprised at the excellent suggestions that surface from regular folks when they believe that they can speak freely without fear of embarrassment, ridicule or reprisal. From my over two years of experience attending Lincoln County Commissioner meetings, it has been my observation that the three seated Commissioners and members of Staff are very friendly and accommodating, but even so, some people seem reluctant to speak before this Body. Here in Lincoln County, we have a pool of intelligent, educated and compassionate individuals; why not avail ourselves of this valuable, and as-yet untapped resource, it only makes for common sense.
Politicians love to talk in generalities, that way they cannot be held accountable for the promises they make and later fail to keep. This Candidate speaks in specific, quantifiable terms; if I say I am going to take a certain stand or action on a particular issue, and I neglect to do so, I fully expect to be held accountable and “called on the carpet”; accountability is key, on the part of Elected Officials, to earning the trust of constituents and as your Elected Representative, I will follow through with respects to my pledges.
From now until the Primary Election on May 15th, I will try to make myself available to meet with Lincoln County Residents to answer questions they might have about myself, the grass-roots campaign and my vision for the future. I will post the dates, times and locations where I am likely to be found (subject to last minute changes) so that those of you to whom Ken Lundie is not a “household” name ,can have the opportunity to get to know me personally. In addition to the scheduled dates and times listed on my website (www.electkenlundie.com) please feel free to flag me down when you see my campaign vehicle, usually an orange colored 1985 Dodge flatbed truck with sideboards and a large campaign sign mounted above the cab; if I am not too busy, I’ll be glad to stop and talk for a while. For residents physically unable to leave their homes, please feel free to contact me by phone (541) 264-8346.
Responding to Other Candidates:
Those of you who have read my Position on the Issues papers, that have been requested by local news media organizations and posted on their websites for Public viewing, have probably noticed that there have been responses to some of my writings from other Candidates and I am absolutely OK with that for it makes for interesting reading. For my own part, I have pledged to conduct my campaign in a professional and ethical manner and I fully intend to adhere to that promise throughout the campaign season. Although I respect the respondent’s opinions and their right to express them in a Public forum, I have no intention of responding to other Candidates or members of the Public who wish to “weigh in” on my Candidacy.
The reason I will reframe from responding in kind is two-fold; the first is that unlike the youth of today, who are absolutely comfortable with tweeting, blogging and texting, I’m not a huge fan of social networking because such methods of communication, although effective, tend to be impersonal. The second is that I do not view my seeking Office in the context of running against anyone (as was erroneously reported earlier by a news outlet); I am running for the open Elected Office of County Commissioner Position #2. One needs to realize that after all of the campaigning and rhetoric has ended, and the voters have spoken, the three of us involved in this contest (two Democrats and one Republican) will still be neighbors and hopefully one day friends.
Though I do not personally know either of my opponents that well, one thing is a certainty: both gentlemen are eminently qualified to hold Public Office (as is this Candidate) and each is an excellent individual in his own right and a credit to the Community. It goes without saying that I have the utmost respect and admiration, not only for my opponents, but also for the remaining Commissioners (who are not up for re-election this go around) and members of the Commissioner Staff and win or lose, I am honored to be in their company and humbled to be considered for such an important Public Office.