Now that I've thoroughly insulted the Glenn Beck club, I want to invite them to practical political action. Instead of being a rather harsh caricature of Toastmasters with a topic list limited to guns, the President's birth certificate, full-reserve banking, and Marxism, Jason Bjorklund and his snarling pack of poli-sci-yenas have a golden opportunity to reverse their general election failure and re-assert their relevance to real politics by getting involved in local issues.
Lake County is fertile ground for a group of citizens interested in graduating from mere talk to practical civic action. We have a range of big issues just waiting for local citizens to get up and holler:
- On Tuesday, November 9, at 7 p.m., the Lake County Commission will hold its first public hearing on the proposed revision of the county zoning ordinance. The proposed changes raised a number of sparky questions at last week's candidates' forum. The proposed changes will also lay the roadmap for the work of the new zoning and environmental inspector the county will hire in the coming months. The county contends that the zoning revision is meant to make the ordinance more user-friendly. The Winfred freedom fighters and other folks I talk to see the zoning ordinance creating all sorts of local government intrusion into our lives. 9-12ers, you should be meeting and hosting open educational sessions to analyze the zoning ordinance for signs of tyranny that you can fight right here in our backyards.
- The Madison Central School District is pushing a colossal waste of local tax dollars on a multi-million-dollar luxury gym to satisfy the interests of a few elite basketball players and sports fans. There are practical alternatives to this boondoggle that would save the taxpayers millions. Jason Bjorklund has declared himself a "victim" of Madison's public education system. Here's a perfect chance for him to lead his fellow citizens in focusing our dollars on real educational improvements, not more play space for varsity athletes.
- The Lake Area Improvement Corporation continues to receive and spend thousands of local tax dollars without any real accountability to the public. The LAIC pays its director over $100,000 to bestow favors on the powers that be and shut out broad public participation while failing to meet its own anemic job creation goals. The 9-12 Project is the perfect group to catalyze public dissatisfaction with this star chamber of crony capitalism to advocate for real change to more open and participatory economic development.
Toward that end, I offer my services. Mr. Bjorklund, I am willing to be the featured speaker at your next 9-12 Project meeting. If you will invite me, I will come lead a conversation with your members about applying your Nine Principles and Twelve Values to local politics.
And don't forget, Glenn Beckers: there are elections for city commission and school board coming up in the spring. Let Kristi Noem carry your water against President Obama: think about making a difference for your neighbors right here in Lake County.