All her people groan as they search for bread; they barter their treasures for food to keep themselves alive.“Look, LORD, and consider, for I am despised.” (Lamentations 1:11)
MANHATTAN — In recent years, there has been a move around the country to establish PBCs (Public Building Commissions). The incentive for a local municipality or county is the availability of money to build facilities and roads that would not otherwise be possible near as quickly. It all looks good. However, many of the constituents within these governmental units are discovering that the price to be paid is the loss of local voter representation and a huge debt.
The governmental officials are driven by power and/or the ability to look like they are accomplishing great things while in office, in other words – pride. This method of operating is even promoted by some folks claiming to be fiscally conservative, because the incurred debt is set outside the normal perimeters of state-allowed local debt. Thus the huge debt tends to be hidden from the public.
I am personally familiar with two of these. One is in a population area of less than 100,000 and the other area has a population of about 4 million. The end results of both, however, are the same. They accumulate a large unsustainable debt and lose voter control. The voters lose the right to approve or disapprove these large building projects, as well as control over how much debt (and taxes) they will incur. This has been discussed at length in one of the smaller area’s local papers. In the large population area, it has gone virtually unnoticed.
There is nothing wrong with conservative principles being promoted by various groups. There is nothing wrong with providing needed services for local areas. However, I think that a greater issue is driving all of this. The issue is the character of those elected to carry these principles out. There appears to be very few elected representatives who have the character to represent the best long term interest of the folks who elected him. Most seem to either be ignorant of the consequences of their positions concerning PBCs or have decided they want what they want no matter what.
This character issue is pervasive from the local level all the way to the White House. It is also reflective of the general character of the nation’s citizens. After all, these officials were elected by these same citizens.
There is only one Person who can solve this problem on a nationwide basis and in a short period of time. The problem is that most of us have forgotten God and many have intentionally driven Him out of our society. However, Paul says in Galatians 6:7 that God is not mocked. We will reap what we have sown. Right now, what we are reaping is national destruction at all levels of society through the failure of the economy.
I think that officials at all levels of government should be included in our prayers for the nation. In addition, we need to look more closely at the character of those running for office and then hold them more accountable for their actions after they are elected.
Frank Clark, author of the column “Frankly Speaking,” is a retired Christian school teacher and principal. He has been married for 44 years and is the father of four grown children and 12 grandchildren. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.