The term corruption is often associated with instances of illegality. A broader description of the term was recently described by Pope Francis. He described corruption as to when a person’s conscience no longer registers right and wrong. He went on to say that:
“The corrupt person cannot accept criticism, discredits anyone who criticizes him, tries to belittle any moral authority who would question him, does not value others and insults anyone who thinks differently. If the balance of power permits, he persecutes anyone who contradicts him.”
America’s founding fathers certainly understood that power corrupts individuals. The founder’s built-in checks and balances on power to help mitigate corruptive tendencies. Their concern was reinforced by John Adams in his statement:
“The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”
What was surprising to me was the feedback I received from many residents. They thanked me for the articles and shared their concerns with the process and the project. They also expressed a fear of some form of retribution for themselves and others if they shared their concerns in a public setting. Interesting that when I talked to even more residents to help determine if this (speaking truth about the use of power) was an isolated situation or a common belief within the culture, their perception is that it is common.
Many residents also told me that questioning the Maple Leaf project in public meetings and my articles on the topic would ensure that I would not be reappointed in 2018 to the Redevelopment Commission (RDC) – which I was not. The commissioners and council did not and do not have to provide a reason. I appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the county and will continue to do so. More information on the fast-track process for the Maple Leaf project and the 2018 RDC appointments are available at Independent Voters of Brown County IN (all one word).
Share your opinion
Regarding the needs, culture and quality of leadership within the county, Brown Countians have an opportunity ( until Feb 20) to share their opinions in support of Brown County’s Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI). The survey is available online at indianahci.org/communities/brown.php I hope you also register for the community forum on March 7.
The HCI Initiative led to the creation of the Brown County Leader Network. A fact and process based approach for supporting improvements.
An individuals support or lack thereof for the platform and principles for Independent Voters can help provide needed insight for selecting quality candidates in 2018 and beyond.