Incumbents need opponents

On 7/13/2012, I posted COMPETITION on this blog.  Not much has changed four years later except Supervisor Langston is not seeking re-election.  In fact, last week, she told me that her last day of work will be on or about 4/15/2016.

With the exception of Mr. Randy Ray running against Supervisor Oleson, no one has filed to run against Supervisor Rogers, Sheriff Gardner, or Auditor Miller – me.  And thus far, Mr. Stacey Walker, who was recruited by Langston, is the only candidate to file to run for Langston’s position.

Obviously, several thousand residents are unhappy with the status quo of the Board of Supervisors or the petitioners wanting to reduce the number of Supervisors on the Board would not be getting several hundred signatures per day.

But going from unhappy to filing for office seems to be a major leap for the 3-4 residents who should be stepping forth to challenge the unchallenged incumbents including me.

Every incumbent needs to be challenged – even me – to keep us from becoming complacent, to keep us from taking our customers for granted, to keep us from becoming arrogant, and to keep us as engaged in our jobs as we were the first day we took office.

Incumbents need to be asked questions.  Incumbents need to be held accountable.  And incumbents need to come up with new ideas for running their offices.  And none of those things occur unless they are challenged by an opponent.

I am reminded of my father who was a State Representative for ten years.  He was elected to office on his third attempt.  The first and second time he ran was to ensure his opponent was challenged – he did little campaigning.  The third time  he ran, he actively campaigned and won that election, and several other elections thereafter.

Democracy is not a spectator sport!  So collect some signatures and file your papers by 5pm on March 30th, and get on the ballot.  The video below explains exactly how to do it.  -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

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