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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Counties 101

The above video play list is of a course taught by the National Association of Counties. The instructor is Jacqueline Byers, the Director of Research County Services Department. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

I present this course to you so that you might understand how important your local county government is to your daily life, and to show you why...if we are to take our government back from the socialists and progressives...we must begin at the local level. getting your guy of gal elected Congress Critter is a good thing, but it is better that you get good conservatives elected at the local and state level, where they will have more of an influence on the policies of government.

For more information on NACO, visit their website and look through their resources. You will have a whole new perspective once you do that and attend a meeting of your local county commissioners.

Websites and document of interest:


Carl Vinson Institute of Government

County Leadership Handbook [pdf download]

A Note on Citizen Journalism

I am lucky that the county I live in (Macon County) is a conservative county, where the Democrats are often more genuinely conservative than Republicans in other counties, especially where fiscal policies are concerned. I know all the commissioners and they are decent, hard working people.

What I would like to see is that people take an interest in making sure that their local elected officials are held to account for their actions to the voters. One way to do that is to attend the meetings and take notes, pictures, and if you are comfortable doing so, record the entire meeting and post it, along with your notes and observations on the Internet. I know that there are newspapers that send reporters to the meetings where they are supposed to do that. The sad thing is that they don't report everything that happens in these meetings, and they often have a liberal bias when they make their reports. Sometimes, they may even miss meetings and rely on information passed along to them by the clerk to the board. While I myself don't have a perfect attendance record, I have been to city and county meetings where I was the only person there that was not an employee of the city or county...and not one news agency had a reporter there.

If you do decide that you are interested in becoming a citizen journalist, please don't go into these meetings with a chip on your shoulder or act like you are wearing tights and cape. You are just a citizen who is interested in learning more about what your elected officials are doing, and have an interest in sharing your observations with others.

You must realize that even the people on these boards who hold political views that are diametrically opposed with those you hold are very often good people trying to do what they think is good for the people of the local area.

Too many people think that just because they have a camera or a blog that it makes them special. it doesn't.

The chief ingredient a citizen journalist needs, especially one who covers local meetings, is intestinal fortitude to sit through sometimes very long meetings with people speaking about things that you may not particularly want to hear. It is not glamorous, but it is very important to pay attention so that you can see how things are supposed to work and it will help you recognize when things aren't working.

Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter, for what it's worth.

You can see my videos of recent meetings of the Macon County Commissioners and the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen to help you get an idea of what I would like to see people do in every county and town in America. This is but one of the steps to taking our government back.

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