With our ineffectual Congress stalemated by partisan bickering over the pending sequester budget cuts and our divisive Legislature seemingly oblivious to the needs of rural Kansas, it is nice to see a glimmer of government operating as intended.
The Barton County Commission Monday morning took up the issue of vacating a remote stretch of a county road. The half-mile-long portion forms a part of the county line between Barton and Rush counties in Fairview Township.
The commissioners came together fully expecting to approve closing the road. They had met with their counterparts from Rush County and township officials last month and come to a consensus to approve the vacation.
However, during the meeting Monday, residents from the area, including township board members, voiced opinions both for and against the action. These are folks who live near each other, have known each other for years, if not decades, and are good friends.
Yet, they felt free to disagree in public.
Commissioners heard both sides, weighed the arguments and rendered a decision. In the end, despite the earlier leanings of the commission to approve the vacation, the governing body voted against it.
Not everybody walked away with what they wanted, but they all walked away with their friendships intact. “This is how America is supposed to work,” said commission Chairman Don Cates.
It was democracy in action.
He was so right. At this level, the meaning of a government of, by and for the people is not lost. Now, if we can only get our leaders higher up the political food chain to grasp this concept, there might not be any fiscal cliff.