Yesterday was Election Day and I wanted to bring some additional perspective to the votes that you cast and the politicians that you elected at all levels of government.
I work for a township government, which means my day to day boss is the Township Administrator; however, the highest level of authority for the Township is the Board of Trustees. Previously I worked for a city, where my boss was the Economic Development Director, who reported to the City Manager, who worked for City Council. This means the top of the food chain at my public sector jobs have been elected officials and by proxy, the voting public (HOPEFULLY YOU).
Governments across America operate this way. The officials elected by the public have the authority to pass laws, appoint/remove administrative professionals, etc. Administrative professionals execute the laws that are passed and report back to the elected officials.
So essentially every government administrative professional has an elected official at the top of the organizational chart whether that is the President of the United States, Congress, the Governor, the Mayor, Council, or Township Trustees.
So when I say that by voting you are voting for my boss, I am not wrong. It may not be my direct boss, but you are voting for someone who holds a level of authority over my actions and workload.
There is a common perception that it really doesn’t matter which politician gets elected because the same results will happen. Well, I think today’s political environment shows that is not true.
For me, I am not speaking about national politics, I will let the talking heads at CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the other major news outlets do that. I am talking about local government.
Most people get fired up at national politics more than anything else, and while that is extremely important, the level of government that has the most impact on a person is local government.
Local government controls the services provided to you such as garbage cleanup, police and fire, street sweeping, water service, etc. They are the ones collecting your property taxes, assessing levies for schools, parks, etc.
Also, local government employees make up the highest percentage of all government employees.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of 2017 there were an estimated 22,341,000 total government employees. 14,472,000 of those worked in local government. That is 65%.
So voting in local elections is extremely important because the outcomes of those elections directly affect the work life of nearly 14.5 million people and the implications of those elections have effects on all people through the day to day government services that all people receive.
Getting back to the “you voting for my boss” idea. If you do not work in government, think about your job, whatever it is. Now imagine that the general public was in charge of hiring a new boss for you every 2-4 years. Once you have that in your mind ask yourself two questions:
I hope that you answered yes to those questions.
I take great pride in my work and I have wanted to work in government my entire life. I am thankful for the opportunity to do so now. I would like to continue loving what I do and doing it to the best of my ability, so I ask that you, as a voter, the next time you find yourself at a polling station please choose the best candidates you can to run local governments so I continue to get a great bosses, and you get the local community you want and deserve.