From time to time I’ll provide a discussion on issues that may be of interest to Madera citizens. I’ll report and comment on events at the local, state or federal level and how they affect us in Madera. In all cases I’ll report the facts as I understand them, share where I think those facts are leading us, and usually offer a few ideas about what we as a community might do in response. I’ll make best efforts to provide accurate facts – as an organization the City defines itself as making fact driven determinations – but ultimately you need to be the judge of what is factual and relevant.
In spite of my best efforts my biases will creep out every so often so let’s start with some disclosure. My father was a career military officer. He was a member of that “warrior class” of men that often come from Texas and the Deep South, are patriots, and believe the defense of Freedom is among the highest callings. It’s not a stretch to say my father had a lot of influence on me.
Military families move around a lot. I spent my high school years between Virginia and Alabama. In Virginia students closely studied the Revolutionary period, read the Constitution and Federalist Papers, and gained an appreciation for the struggle between States and Federal powers that remains in play even today. The founding fathers didn’t agree on much so I really enjoy the modern day revisionists who make blanket statements like “clearly, the framers of the Constitution wanted….” Yeah, right. Read a little history and get back to me……… For what it’s worth I fall into the limited government camp in these types of arguments.
I spent my last two years of high school in Alabama and saw the remnants of the worst that State and local government had to offer – segregation. I walked past drinking fountains that were labeled “White”, or “Black” and listened to stories told by adults who lived through beatings and who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. I was ashamed of what we as a nation allowed and recognized that absent Federal intervention nothing would have changed. Suddenly my limited government view of the world had some holes in it. Finding the balance between protecting the rights of the individual and the needs of the many became where I would spend my professional life.
So the guy writing this blog is consistently conflicted. I continue to believe the Constitution is a document of limitation, not empowerment and that the government that governs least governs best. But I am also a public sector professional/servant/bureaucrat, take your pick. My professional code of conduct requires that I “affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a constructive, creative, and practical attitude toward local government affairs and a deep sense of social responsibility as a trusted public servant”. I’m in the business of making our community a better place to work, live, and play, all within the context of limited government. How do I, we, make that work?
This blog is going to be an interesting ride. Please join me for the journey.
Madera City Administrator