In the late 1950’s prior to running for the office of the presidency, John F. Kennedy wrote a book titled Profiles of Courage. Within the book he detailed a few case studies of politicians who despite overwhelming public opinion of any given issue that may have otherwise forced any other politician to vote or manage a policy area a certain way that way that favored public opinion; the politicians mentioned in the book did not do what other people thought were right, but they instead did what was needed to be done in order to make the entire community a better one for all.
The town of Enfield is being faced with an ever increasing crisis right now. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to deal with it. Nobody even wants to acknowledge it. But like any looming and creeping darkness that’s growing in size; the crisis is present, and it’s not going to go away any time soon.
Due to the prolonging economic recession that we are all faced with as a community; people have less money. Everybody is affected by this recession, and nobody is immune from this current economic situation. And although the only positive outcome of this could be that people has had to learn how to do more things with less money; it also means that our government has also had to learn how to do more things with less money.
But that doesn’t make for an excuse to start giving up on our town and the future of it. The Mayor and Republican Party in the town council proudly proclaim each and every year since they’ve gained a majority in the council that they are proud that they had not had to raise taxes. However, the costs of doing everything from putting gas in the town fleet of vehicles to the cost of electricity and heat in the numerous town buildings are sky rocking. We as a community have two choices: to continue down this path of not paying any more then we already do for our city
services or for us all to give a little bit more so that the community as a
whole with benefit.
All 46,000 of us who call the town of Enfield our home are on that same boat: republicans and democrats; Thompsonville residents and Hazardville residents; young and old; business owners and housekeepers; we are all in that same boat, and that boat has a leak in it. If this boat continues to leak, we will sink. So we have three options to save our community on this boat. Do we throw some people overboard, in order to save the other people? Do we just do nothing and allow for the boat to sink? Or do we as community choose the best option in my opinion; have each person in our community contribute a little more so that everyone is saved in the end?
We can do what other towns is doing, and we can easily cut the many services that affect our communities most variable residents: cut public housing for the elderly, cut any support for the food self and the food pantry, and while you’re at it; cut the public library hours of operations. However if we were to go down that path, then we all as a community suffer; especially our friends and our family and our neighbors who need the extra help and need the extra support. And in the long run, the entire community is hurt anyways.
We can also do nothing.
That is what the town of Enfield is already doing, and I do not blame
this on any one political party or any one political ideology; I mostly blame
human nature. It is easy to do nothing and ignore the facts as human beings. It
makes our lives easier and it creates less stress, less worry, and less panic
in our lives.
However, after we come home from our weekly shopping trips to the store and to the mall, and after we arrive home from a long and exhausting day on the job or in class; the facts that we tried so disparately hard to ignore still remain the facts: that our schools are under performing, that our streets are no longer safe at night, that our parks are no longer clean and maintained, that our roads are no longer smooth and drivable, and that our public libraries have fewer and fewer new books for our fellow residents to read.
The many great services that we as a community depend on like police and fire services, park and recreation services, library services, road improvement services, and our public education system are all things are costs a great deal of money. And even services like door to door trash and recycling services; which many towns in our state lack, costs us even more money. Paychecks of town workers need to be fulfilled; school books need to be purchased for our children and our grass in our public parks needs watering for our enjoyment.
And so at the end of the day, we need our leaders in the great town of Enfield to step up to the plate; republicans and democrats and independences alike; and take the actions that our town and other towns around our state needs to take in order to ensure that our services that we all enjoy are maintained, and that our future and the future of our children is a brighter one then what we are currently facing in our lives.
And hopefully along the way of doing all this we can also ensure that John F. Kennedy’s vision will still hold true: that the people who we elect to lead us can still be courageous and make the harder and more difficult of choices.