Those in White Springs hear words like “Corruption”, Chapter 119’s and references to various laws we have felt have not been adhered to.
The principle of accountability holds that elected officials are responsible to the Citizens for their decisions and actions. Transparency requires that the decisions and actions of those elected officials are open to public scrutiny and that the public has a right to access such information under Chapter 119. Without accountability and transparency, democracy is impossible and officials are likely to succumb to corruption. It is then that the public is not properly served and public trust is violated.
For at least a decade, there has been no transparency to those who are to be served. When one tries to bring issues of impending corruption to the public, there appears to be an abuse of power by public officials for private gain, sometimes using police officers to ascertain that power is absolute. But let’s discuss corruption is a bit more:
Besides it being the abuse of power by public officials and not performing duties as was the original intent which is paradigmatic of corruption, the definition exceeds this theory.
Corruption is the abuse of power by a public official for private gain or any organized, interdependent system in which part of the system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an improper way, to the detriment of the system’s original purpose. The abuse of public offices for private gain is paradigmatic of corruption.
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her by the constitution or laws there can be penalties. In some areas Corrupt judicial systems not only violate the basic right to equality before the law but deny procedural rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Corruption is difficult to define and nearly impossible to measure. When an elected official steals money for his or her personal gain it is easy to identify as corruption…such as using funds for activities other than helping the citizens…such as FLOW or payment to university students for a project outside of helping the Town.
Corruption is not so easy to determine if your neighbor or friends of the officials are given preferential treatment in business dealings…favored ones being paid while others are not; some given rewards like a reasonable cost for materials and supplies if ordered with that which the grant covers.
In general corruption involves the misuse of power by those who hold it – people, who in their official position, exploit the power with which they are entrusted by seeking private gain. Just look around you.
Public officials who have been entrusted with guiding and implementing public policy and service, is at the expense of both the common good and of those who don’t “cheat the system” In this sense, corruption is widely viewed as an immoral practice and is increasingly condemned around the world. It is noted that even those compelled to participate in corrupt systems, in order to survive or to keep their positions, are frequently fed up with the role that corruption may play in their daily lives. Corruption creates a system whereby money and connections determine who has access to public services and who receives favorable treatment. When money and resources are available under grants these resources are diverted by corrupt officials instead of being channeled for the benefit of the citizens. This then turns the clock back on social and economic development and creates further instability and corruption.
Unfair documentary practices relating to verifying one’s employment eligibility have been discussed but the area of corruption in this practice allows the corrupt official to reject reasonable documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating specific individuals that do not fit within their group of associates and friends. They may do background checks on some and not on others so that the one they favor may be hired. Prior to this year, the only background checks the officials made were those on Joe. Prior to that even if a citizen pointed out specific criteria that would not make a candidate or official eligible, it was dismissed by our elected officials.
The only one advantage a citizen has is that an elected official may be voted out of office. Yet, much goes on relating to the election process in white springs. The way it is supposed to go is that a citizen voting for a specific person encourages the winner to act honesty in representing the people’s will. Indeed, whether appointed, elected or hired, your officials owe a high level of accountability to you, the public.
When our U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, the founding fathers, all men and those who had stake in society and owned property were allowed to vote. The founding fathers believed that since government was established to protect property and personal freedom, those involved with each had the right to vote. This meant only white Protestant males who owned property could vote. Women, poor people, indentured servants, Catholics and Jews, slaves from Africa and Native Americans could not vote. Today we have a right and a duty to vote to end corruption.