Commentary by Butch Meriwether
Many promises have been made by those running for elected office this year. Only time will tell if those who were victorious will follow through with their promises or if they will conveniently suffer a memory lose.d position, then they should be serious enough to stay involved.
Many promises have been made by those running for elected office this year. Only time will tell if those who were victorious will follow through with their promises or if they will conveniently suffer a memory lose.
Before we know it, the primary election Aug. 30 will be over and some individuals for partisan positions will have been elected and/or have won the reelection. Some are the luckier ones who do not have a challenger from a different political party, and will not be required to compete in the general election. But for those with challengers from a different party, they will have to move onto the general election and vie for one of the spots that are available.
Those vying for a non-partisan position do not have to compete in the primary election; they go directly to the general election and those independent candidates also go directly to the general election.
The general election takes place on Nov. 8. and then the long-drawn-out 2016 election process can be “put to bed. Those newly elected or reelected people who will be serving in Mohave County will be sworn into office Jan. 2 (the first Monday in 2017).
The victors of Arizona state-level elections will be sworn in Jan. 9 (the second Monday of 2017) and the president will be sworn in during Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires that members of the U.S. Congress be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and the members-elect typically take the Oath of Office on the House Floor on the first day of a new Congress (Jan.3) , immediately after the Speaker of the House has been elected and sworn in.
When the final gavel is slammed down in Mohave County by Elections Director Allen Tempert, the last ballot will have been cast and the polls closed at 7 p.m., Nov. 8, hopefully the results will soon afterward start trickling out to the general public.
I bet some candidates hate having to wait to see if they need to go out into Mohave County to retrieve their campaign signs that are only allowed to be in place for ten days after the primary if they lost their bid to become an elected official. However some, if lucky enough, they’ll be euphoric knowing they will be able to leave them up until after the general election.
However, there are some of those who achieved greatness during the primary election by outdistancing their opponents even by the smallest margin, but have to continue their campaigns against others into the general election.
I say right up front that some people and I may not be satisfied with the results of certain races, but we have to succumb to the fact the people have spoken.
I honestly believe I heard more than 22 percent of the people in the county complain about how our local government has been run in the past and about some self-serving elected and condescending officials, but as the old saying goes, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” about how our government runs.
Yes, I would like to send out proverbial congratulations to all those people new to the political arena who were elected in the primary and to those incumbents who might be reelected, and will return to public office. We can’t forget those who will be competing in the general election.
Before we know it, November’s general election will be upon us and only then, the entire 2016 election process will be over and the newly elected or reelected people will take office.
The main thing all of those in the primary who were victorious in the primary election and those who will ultimately be elected in the general election – they must realize what they said during their campaign treks throughout our county, during the various meet and greets, and during the debates/forums hosted by many organizations throughout the year.
Hopefully the newly elected people will do as they said they will do if elected and not conveniently suffer a memory lose once in office. I know this might sound sarcastic, but this has occurred after past elections.
Well, I’m going to help those candidates who may ultimately suffer memory lose about what they said and/or promised during their campaign. Granted, some of the candidates were more nebulous than others with what they would do, but the astounding majority did promise specific things.
I guess my memory is actually pretty much in tack because I recall most campaign promises by candidates that I hope will be instituted or voted into existence. They included, but weren’t limited to:
● A forensic audit of the past Mohave County finance practices will be conducted in order to determine if any laws or regulations were violated with the county’s finance practices and to ensure no misuse of county finances have occurred.
● They would ensure status quo would not continue even though certain incumbents would want it.
● They would institute “sensitivity training” classes for all employees so they will understand that the residents pay their salaries and they should treat all residents with compassion and dignity when dealing with them.
● That there will be total transparency within Mohave County government and there will be no hint of impropriety in any county business practices.
● They would keep the residents information about events and new practices by the county, instead of just during the campaigning process to keep their name and faces in the public’s eyes. Furthermore, they would ensure the county sends out media releases on a regular basis instead of haphazardly.
● Change the county’s procurement regulations to conform to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.).
● That all county employees be made aware that A.R.S. require them to file a disclosure statement if they or one of their family members or relatives conduct business with the county, and if they violate the A.R.S., it would be grounds for immediate termination.
● That all employees of Mohave County be made aware that for them to use their office and authority to slander and needlessly investigate private citizens will not be tolerated.
When the supervisors and other county elected officials open their offices up for business on Jan. 2, they must remember that what they say and do will be watched through a giant microscope by the residents who voted them into office.
If any county elected officials violate county regulations, if there is a resurgence of condescending behavior as some residents have felt occurred in the past, if they engage in self-serving adventures that do not benefit the residents of Mohave County as a whole, and they do not do as they promised the voters during their campaigns, they must realize it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that there could be a recall movement to oust them.
And last but not least, I honestly hope the people who were not successful in their campaign bids will continue to be involved in federal, state and county goings-on even if from the periphery. If they were serious enough about wanting to serve in an elected position, then they should be serious enough to stay involved.