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It's Not Always About You

The Concurrent is not going to become a parenting blog, but I hope you’ll indulge me for one more post. Last Sunday, I previewed my daughter’s birth, which happened the following Monday morning, with three lessons that I would like to pass on to the next generation.

Today’s topic is similarly split into three parts, with each based on the same underlying lesson. The three parts are different aspects of the community that either could benefit from the lesson or demonstrate it in action.

The one lesson I’ve learned over this past week’s first foray into fatherhood is this: it isn’t always about you.

Public Notices Vote

This Tuesday the county commission will vote on whether or not to continue paying a nominal fee to post public notices in the Citrus County Chronicle.

The commission should vote to keep the public notices in print. Some in the public are inevitably going to trod out the argument that they feel the Chronicle has a liberal bias and that their conservative tax dollars should not be going toward a publication they don’t agree with.

It isn’t about you. And it’s not about politics on a left-right spectrum either. It’s about transparency and communication to better us all.

Another group of people will argue that no one reads the public notices, which is a tell-tale sign that person has never watched a commission meeting following the publication of a TRIM notice or land use change.

The easy path for a commissioner here would be to vote to eliminate the print public notices. They get to look like they are saving taxpayer money and they don’t have to hear from angry constituents as much in meetings.

But my guess is a couple of commissioners will still vote to keep them because they understand the notices increase communication and transparency, something that everyone would agree with if they could just separate their own political slant on it.

The commissioners in favor of keeping them will be voting against their easiest path, voting against their own self-interest of taking the politically expedient choice, but doing so to help the community. These are the ones who will show they know it’s not about them.

NPA Candidates

Paul Grogan, NPA candidate for county commission district 2, was recently interviewed by John Murphy with the Chronicle. It did not go well. When asked about the budget that was planned over summer and approved last month, Grogan rattled off a nonsensical response about the administrator switching in November.

Any follow up question Murphy asked sent Grogan into a nervous panic before giving answers that had little to do with the original question, such as talking about bicycle paths when asked about residential road resurfacing, or aggressively nodding as if shaking his head yes could will the viewer into agreement.

Murphy, who had just come off the campaign trail himself as the runner-up in the county commission district 4 race, did a phenomenal job keeping it together given his first-hand experience of knowing what real campaigning looks like but even he was clearly oscillating between amused and incredulous at how dumb the responses were.

As amusing as it might be, no candidacy should be a joke. Grogan’s is as close to a ghost candidacy as you can have without proving it, even saying this week that he doesn’t go to political events because he was “told not to” but until there is proof, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Closed primaries are fine with legitimate NPA candidates, but this was a guy who just wanted to make it about himself and he disenfranchised a large part of the county in his selfishness.

Prosperity Citrus

There is hope. Several organizations do amazing work in this county but one that has particular interest is Prosperity Citrus. I’ve been critical of it in the past and critical of some people pushing for it much more recently but I do believe it’s selfless individuals with a focus on other people. I have a new appreciation for their work.

Monumental events such as having a newborn will change your perspective on life as I’m sure I’m not telling anyone who has already experienced this something they don’t already know. I used to fear if I would be able to put my personal ambition and love of leisure behind the needs of my daughter.

Now, looking around at how so many others act, I fear this acute feeling of taking the spotlight off my needs fades with time. I’m worried I’ll forget it’s not always about me.


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