Do what's right and necessary
To the Editor:
I am writing to send a message to the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Dixfield.
Congratulations on your victories. Thanks for your continued service to those who are finishing your terms. As you embark on or continue your service I would like to offer you some thoughts.
A public servant serves at the pleasure of his constituents. He does not serve an entity known as the "public," as there is no such entity; he serves the collective will of a community of individuals. In the ideal, you would receive feedback from constituents so as to know their will, but often you will or have found that feedback to be lacking or undirected.
In the absence of community involvement, you must make the best educated decision you can, that is your role. I urge you to seek advice from all constituents you can, even those who scoff at your decisions and twist your words to others. I urge you to seek out those who will disagree in public or private, as those opinions will always offer a perspective that will help you decide.
Your term as a public servant is short, though many times it will drag out in either doldrums of the mundane or the razors edge of heated controversy. In a short term of service, you will know what it's like to be respected, doubted, lied about, ridiculed and ignored. How you choose to deal with all this will show in your decision making concerning town matters. Be gracious, and allow for others passions while keeping your head.
There is no place for your agenda here in Dixfield. With thoughts like "I'll fix that town garage" or "I'll cut taxes, you watch me" and "together we will control the direction of this board," you will be standing in direct violation of a key principle of leadership; you must only promise to stand on universal principles and make common sense decision making your aim.
In the end, I urge you to remember that your personal ideology should have no bearing on decision making. Leaders do not make common sense decisions filtered through any political ideology, personal agenda, vendetta, hurt feelings or pack mentality.
Be the men and women who convene to do what's right and necessary and remember that the hopes of our posterity will be built on every signature you pen to paper.