They’re all our officials now

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We rather liked what former Alabama Speaker of the House Seth Hammett said to members of the Andalusia City Council as they took the oath of office Monday afternoon.

It was a paraphrase of something he often told new members of the legislature.

“I always reminded them they were state representatives, not a Birmingham or Mobile or Dothan representative, not Democratic or Republican, black or white. If you want to get elected and stay elected, stay in touch with people of your district. Talk to them and return their telephone calls. But your title is city council members. You are responsible for the entire city, not just your district.”

Similarly, elected officials represent ALL the members of a district or a city, not just those who actively supported and or voted for them.

Just as it is the jobs of the newly-installed members of local councils, commissions and boards of education to work together for the good of the city or county they represent, it is similarly our jobs to support them in their endeavors if we are to continue to move our communities forward.

That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree, but as our friend the Speaker said, we can do so disagreeably. The bitterly partisan rhetoric we’ve seen in this election cycle serves only to thwart progress.

To those who have and are taking oaths of office this week, our trust is in you to lead us forward, Make us proud.