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I am going to do something that doesn’t happen very often. I am going to defend Lancaster County Council. And yes, before I go any further, my father-in-law is Larry Honeycutt and my sister-in-law is Kathy Sistare (married to my brother, Mike). I cannot speak for everyone on County Council, but because I am close to these two, I will tell you what I see.
I see how dedicated these two individuals are. They spend endless hours preparing for meetings, going to events, handling things that only a handful of people choose to do. That’s right, they choose to do this because they care about our community.
The decisions they have to make do not come easily. They have to prepare. They take time out of their lives and time with their families. They are on call 24/7. And for what? They don’t do it for “pats on the back” or positive recognition. Believe me, any positive feedback is few and far between. They learn very quickly that you cannot please everyone and, in some cases, you cannot please anyone.
Nevertheless, they continue to do their job. The job nobody wants, the job others criticize, the job that no one else steps up to do. Filing for the November election will be coming up soon. Are people going to be lined up to fill these seats? If this year is like past years, the answer is no. Most people don’t want to take the backlash. Most people don’t want to take the time and effort. But these people do. They deal with all the negativity and criticism because they care.
Do they always get it right? Probably not. Are mistakes made? Yes, it happens. They are only human and no one is perfect. But I do know that they try. Most of the time, they get it right, but you don’t hear much about the positive things they do, only the negative.
There have been times when I have not agreed or understood why a decision was made. But I don’t listen to second-hand talk or hearsay. I don’t look at negative Facebook pages or Internet sites created by people who don’t have the entire story. I ask questions of the people involved and once things are explained to me, it makes a lot more sense. Things are not always black and white, not cut and dried. Decisions have to be made by considering many aspects and all the facts.
Just like the land purchased for the new Buford EMS station. I didn’t fully agree with the amount that was paid for the project, but I do understand why. Chris Sardelli wrote a very good article explaining all aspects of the deal. The fact of the matter is that the Buford community is continuously growing. It needs its own EMS station to accommodate the number of adults and children who attend the numerous school and community events.
Lives will be saved because of this decision and one day, you will be thankful that someone took the initiative to do this, no matter how much money was spent.
Think about the decisions you have to make for your own household. The decisions you make affect everyone in your family. Sometimes you have to cut corners to make ends meet. Sometimes the decisions are hard. When it comes to making decisions for the entire county (a huge household), you cannot cut corners. If you do, it affects many people for years to come. And yes, sometimes the decisions are hard, but someone has to make them.
I encourage you to get the facts concerning issues by going to council meetings or talking to County Council members. Get the whole story. So many things can be exaggerated and interpreted incorrectly. Just last week, a gentleman complained in his letter to the editor that council has spent too much money building the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District and Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority buildings, when in fact, the county had nothing to do with those buildings. No taxpayer money was spent.
I also encourage you not to condemn. County Council members are trying to do what is best for the county. They live here, eat here, support the community and pay taxes just like the rest of us. And if my tax money helps to protect my community, gives my daughter a better education or saves someone’s life, then any money spent is well worth it.
My father-in-law and sister-in-law are wonderful, caring people. They are dedicated and honest. I, for one, am very proud of the job they choose to do for this county.
Keep up the good work.