Getting some of my neighbors talking to me on my campaign trail sometimes becomes a daunting challenge for me.
Most my neighbors spend a minute or two discussing my campaign stuff. Some go even further. It’s a lot of fun when they open up and start talking about things they love (and hate) about this small town. Some, especially elderly ones love to talk about how they raised their kids when they moved many years ago and then how much things have changed lately.
Yet, I find a few who wouldn’t even talk to me.
I mean almost. Fortunately, some are kind enough to tell me their reason of distaste for City election. They smell politics in election. I mean any election, no matter how big or small they are.
“Sorry, I hate politics” – said one such neighbor as she saw me approaching her the other day with the pack of campaign brochures in my hand.
“Ok, thanks”, I quickly responded and moved on.
Though I really wanted to tell her that I’m not a big fan of traditional politics either.
Some College Park council representatives may be interested to use their position as stepping stones to climb the political ladder in future and move into county or state politics. But for those who know me, I’m an engineer and a teacher by trade; I love my day job and I’ve absolutely no desire to climb that political ladder to rise to those higher places.
If history is any guide, the city had two types of council representatives. Except a very few, most served their districts locally – they never moved up. I’d like to see myself as part of this majority group of council reps.
I’m happy that unlike in other local governments and big cities, our city council representatives are not full time salaried employees. They only get $5K/year as stipends and most have their day jobs. This forces our council representatives to serve this community for whatever reason, but absolutely not for money. I see being a council representative will allow someone to extend similar kind of grass root community services that we often do in our local neighborhoods.
I know the political fields in the federal and even in some local level have been plagued by scandals (remember Jack Johnson), and dirty attacks by political opponents, but can we extend that kind of political evil to a small town like College Park? I don’t think so.