|Proper focus could help the future of our communities|
|Written by Robert B. Larson - Publisher|
|Wednesday, 13 January 2010 14:05|
Many people today are totally consumed by lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who actually seem to be running our country.
For some folks, the word “lobbyist” conjures up negative images and back room deals.
We can still remember how Jack Abramoff joked about how he ripped off the Native American tribes.
Imagine the country following the Civil War, dealing with carpetbaggers who were waving stacks of checks and flooding committee meeting rooms at the Capitol, while pressuring congressional representatives to vote their way.
These are ugly pictures that tend to overshadow the truth — lobbyists can and do get things done. That’s why there’s so much talk every election about curbing their influence.
However, trusted lobbyists can be very influential.
Unlike their unpopular image, most lobbyists are ethical, hard-working experts who try to help keep the wheels of government turning.
Those wheels are regularly greased with campaign contributions, but the lobbyists have a breadth of knowledge that only they can bring to the table, expert knowledge politicians must rely on to get bills passed.
For every 10 lobbyists who represent the drug companies, there is at least one fighting on behalf of the elderly, or the poor, or the churches — even working people have lobbyists looking out for their interests.
So who’s in Washington, D.C., looking out for the interests of Sedona, Camp Verde, Cottonwood and the rest of the Verde Valley?
In general, our congressional representatives fulfill that role, but guess who they are listening to?
Sedona and the Verde Valley needs its own lobbyists to educate legislators at the Arizona Capitol and in Washington, D.C., about the peculiar needs of our area.
We have unique interests in our area that other areas of the state don’t have. We also need federal roads to help carry millions of tourists to our area each year.
We have a special interest in conserving the water that makes life possible in the desert, especially the Verde River and the potential draining of it by special interests in the Prescott area.
We have a special interest in preserving the beauty of our magical and mystical beauty that surrounds us and help in making it available to all Americans to enjoy.
I would like to see a concerted effort by the Sedona City Council, the Town Council of Camp Verde and the Cottonwood City Council to work together to get a plan in motion that will help protect our area, get us the services we need and improve on our lives now and well into the future.
Maybe they could all stop with wasting money on study after study and actually pool some money together to share the bill and pay a lobbying group to represent our joint interests.
Maybe with support from my fellow residents we could get our local governments to make a wise investment in the future.