If you have followed all of my postings, you know that in my past I was an elected official, serving as a school board member in the small town where I grew up. Because of that small amount of experience and a lot of reading since then, I’ve learned even more.
It is the nature of a legislative body within a representative republic such as America that elected officials don’t always do the right thing. Sometimes their motives are to do things that their constituents would not appreciate. Other times, they have the best of intentions, but do not have the insight and knowledge to write legislation that is logical and effective.
Such is going on in Oklahoma. Elected official, including the Governor, want to consolidate and make government smaller, so they have written legislation to consolidate several agencies into one larger one. They also want to consolidate the Information Technology functions of all the state agencies into one and put those functions under one person.
What they don’t understand is the different relationships that law enforcement agencies have that are different from other state agencies. Agencies such as the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have computer network systems that must work in conjunction with local police departments, sheriff’s offices, and federal agencies such as the FBI and Homeland Security. They do not realize that their ideas of consolidating services into a limited number or even a single network will be difficult to accomplish and still keep the confidentiality of the information that flows between law enforcement entities.
That is what Jo and I have been writing letters about. While we recognize that some consolidation would be a good thing, each agency’s missions and needs must be recognized and studied to insure that everything works smoothly. We have had an extensive letter writing campaign to legislators and to the Governor. The bill to consolidate has passed the House, so now we are directing our attentions to the Senate and the Governor.
It doesn’t help that there are “outsourcing” companies out there that will make their money by setting up these consolidations and thus have skewed their reports to convince the legislators and other officials that their ideas are sound and logical. This one particular company has written reports for two other states and those states found fault with their findings and are NOT consolidating according to the company’s plan.
While others have approached the elected officials with different strategies, I have undertaken the task of pointing out discrepancies within that company’s report to the legislature. Tonight, I sent a document that was more than two pages long to all 48 of our state Senators and to the Governor. Only time will tell if we are successful.
But, it is a wonderful thing to be able to address one’s governing bodies with their ideas and concerns. That is not necessarily something that is inherently beneficial in any other form of government. Even a democracy can be considered to be governing with tyranny over the minority. So long as one party can get more votes than their rivals, they can write legislation that will do what they want at the expense of the minority.
So, while it is work to write the letters, it is a privilege to be able to participate in ways other than voting alone. Our country is so unique and so special and we should never forget those privileges.
Some time back, I heard a rendition of our national anthem that was absolutely stunning. While we get to hear professional singers totally butcher our anthem, these young ladies did it right. I still get goose bumps when I hear their singing. Since I stumbled upon being able to imbed a video into yesterday’s post, I’m going to attempt it again. I really think it is just another advantage of using LiveWriter.
So, let me introduce the Cactus Cuties from the Cactus Theater in Lubbock, Texas. This was their anthem sang at a basketball game.