Guest Op-Ed: It’s Time to Hit the Reset Button

By Fred Capone

Our Founding Fathers didn’t intend for elected officials to become career politicians.  Public service was to be temporary in nature, with government officials stepping aside after a period of time to allow others the opportunity to render their own public service.  They understood that prolonged power challenges one’s character and insulates officeholders from commonplace experiences and their constituents’ true needs.  Prolonged power and authority often blur the lines between public service and self-service.  George Washington embodying these ideals exercised tremendous personal restraint when stepping away from the Presidency after serving two, four-year terms.  The Twenty-second amendment to the United States Constitution formalized this precedent.  An anonymous quote, commonly attributed to Mark Twain in error and often rephrased, summarizes in terms we can better grasp: “Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.”    

Our current mayor has served in that capacity for 14 years.  That is long enough for any one person to hold such power.  He lobbied relentlessly for a pay increase; then the mayor sought a second pay increase before the first increase even took effect.  Despite the current $200,000.00 annual salary, more than adequate compensation, our current mayor sought a $40,000.00 longevity bonus.  Adding insult to injury, he then gave himself an additional $6,000.00 in compensation for car allowance.  Recently, the City Council voted to implement term limits for elected officials.  Rather than embrace term limits, our current mayor vetoed term limits.  Perhaps our Founding Fathers’ concerns regarding too much power, in too few hands, for too long a period were justified.      

These are just a few examples of this mayor serving his own interests over yours.  As your Mayor, your interests will be served – not mine.  For the sake of our city’s future, I respectfully suggest that NOW is the time to hit that reset button to bring new leadership that puts the needs of our residents first, every day and at every opportunity.  For other areas of concern or ideas, please visit my webpage at www.fredcaponeforeverett.com.

Fred Capone is a City Councilor, and a candidate for mayor.

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