Politics is dirty - even locally

Today is election day. Supposedly a big one for our country. Will it turn blue or remain red? It doesn’t matter, either way the dialogue will likely continue to spoil and the coverage will largely feed more hostility and hatred for “them” (on either extremes).

It is a sight to behold, our country tearing itself a part. Everyone knows that politics is dirty. It seems, however, the level of dirty is escalating. It certainly is permeating into society as an angry contagion.

Politics and politicians are an unfortunate, but necessary part of what we got here. Sadly, the disgusting parts of politics, the blaming, the shaming, the name calling and humiliating of your opponents is showing up on the smallest scale - the local government. The fact that there is this sense of “opponents” locally is a real indicator of something gone wrong.

Locally, this is not politics as usual, but politics of America 2018.

This is partly why I resigned from my duties as council president yesterday. I ran for council with the hopes of “making a difference” and instead felt most of my time and energy was being spent on defending myself and others from slander. I just couldn’t do it anymore. And as unfortunate a decision it was, and probably a disappointment, the burden had grown to great.

And it is unfortunate, that the dirty actions of my “opponent” (its in quotes because I didn’t feel that way, but they did) are the very reason why good, decent, educated and reasonable people don’t want to involve themselves in local politics. But it is those good, decent, educated and reasonable people that we need. “Someones got to do it” - and I thought that someone could be me… and it was for a moment.

The proximity and constant dealings with the dirtiness of politics and bad players was beginning to turn me into someone I am not. It was beginning to turn me into an angry person. It started to taint my feelings towards my community. It also gave me this awful constant pain in my upper back. All for what? I actually believe that council has very little to do with making a stronger, better community.

It saddens me that local politics - or local council people would be so dirty (most of the council people I worked with are wonderful, but it only takes one to spoil.)

So on this election day:

Dear Council and Residents,

I write to you to inform you that I will be resigning from Borough council. It has weighed heavy on my heart for months now and although I feel this may come as a huge disappointment to some, it is clear to me that I must step down.

1.       Although I have learned a lot in the past 10 months, my experience on council has been very different than what I thought I was signing up for.

2.       The work of council president has negatively affected my performance at my job.

3.       Joining council has been a detriment to my physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

4.       I believe my abilities and talents can be used to benefit the community elsewhere.

5.       I did not prepare myself nor have the personality type to deal well with some of the abhorrent tactics and behaviors used by one of Greenville’s council members.  

I am also resigning from my seat on the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission and will not be returning to the Greenville Planning Commission once my term is over on December 31st, 2018.

I want to express my sincere gratitude and thanksgiving to the fantastic administrative staff. Jasson, Dave, Rosalynn, and Lyle doing incredible work for the borough are under appreciated, underpaid. Council would do well to ensure their success, because Greenville succeeds when they succeed.

Here are some things I will continue to do:

1.       I will continue to be a positive advocate for the Greenville Community.

2.       I will continue to meet with members of the Community Vision Task Force regardless of its official recognition from council as a committee because I believe there is value in the work that is being done by this group.

3.       I will continue to offer my free help to the borough with maintaining their website.

Please take this letter as notice of my formal resignation effective immediately: November 5th, 2018.