Who are our friends? Who are our leaders?
The two are not mutually exclusive, especially in a rural county such as ours. Lately, disturbing trends have come to our attention and, frankly, we have concerns about local leaders and friends.
The Brawley Elementary School District is roiling with controversy and drama — again. Of course, itâ€™s election time, so accusations and emotions run high. Nevertheless, sometimes where there is smoke there is fire.
Under the table rumors and innuendos have been circulating about BESDâ€™s style of governing. People are concerned that the regular checks and balances incorporated in the board have been set aside. Recent padding of administrative positions, and spending are cause for public concern.
A published, accusatory letter about a candidate running for the BESD board and it being disseminated across town did not help the schoolâ€™s reputation.
Imperial Irrigation District has lately caught our attention, too. After, two years of smooth sailing, an internal purging of local employees and senior management in energy seems surprisingly abrupt. And they have apparently been replaced with outside men who may have experience in renewable energy and transmissions, but also reportedly have interests in projects that want to do business with the IID. Their connection may not be direct, but do their loyalties lie with what is best for the valley, or best for their friends?
Not to leave Calexico behind, on October 28, the Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA) that insures cities, including Calexico, will decide whether the border town is being governed in a rational, stable manner worthy of being insured.
The JPIA recently sent a warning letter to Mayor Joong Kim after the firing of city manager Richard Warne, that they were â€œgravely concernedâ€ and that the councilâ€™s action â€œcalls into question the city councilâ€™s commitment to stability and its good faith interest in partnering with the Authority.â€
Mayor Kim appears not to be concerned if his city loses its insurance, stating frequently that there are other insurance companies out there. However, this is a terrible gamble that could affect the city in dire ways, especially those who get a paycheck from the city.
Of course, who is directly responsible for these problems? Yep, the voters. All of these issues can be resolved by studying the candidates, knowing their character and temperament, and doing due diligence.
Go to the debates. When you meet a candidate, know the issues well enough to ask them where they stand. Develop a comprehensive appraisal of each candidateâ€™s assets and liabilities before voting.
Going out to vote is not the answer, knowing whom you are voting for is.