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Letter: Term limits good for Sycamore, society

Published: Saturday, June 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy was close in his Guest View (Daily Chronicle, May 4).

We live in a democratic republic.

Democratic (adjective) – it’s what we do.

Republic (noun) – it’s what we are.

It’s from the Latin “Res Publica” – a matter of the people. The people indirectly control their government through involvement with representatives. The council pledges to it and the constitution guarantees it.

When was the last time your representatives asked, “Tell me your concerns that I may properly represent you?”

If not, it smacks of taxation without representation. Taxes pay the councils’ stipends.

The Founding Fathers dismissed term limits. They didn’t foresee congress awarding itself handsome perks and careers.

Representatives were to be a composition and rotation of citizens.

Several council members’ terms are turning into decades. To wit: The triumvirate of Aldermen Bauer, Stowe and, ah, Paulsen (16, 26 and 12 years, respectively).

In their desire to serve, their quirks and idiosyncrasies (we all have them) have been directing Sycamore’s disposition for lo these many years with little objection.

Perhaps too often decisions are made using the “I think this, I think that” style with no reference to citizens or experts.

Auspiciously, citizens can speak to the council about local drug dealers, latest fashions or a birthday. Albeit, all have the same value – four minutes. In any case there is scant attention to citizens’ concerns.

Shame and woe on the citizens. Representatives are elected over and over again and too few citizens vote, rejecting their precious “res publica.” Use it or lose it – little by little.

By its nature government can’t be trusted.

Among the police chief’s good work remains a lack of enforcement of the speed limits and noise ordinance. No one seems to consider it an obligation. And the chief has yet to apologize for snubbing a citizen.

Sycamore’s government has been noncommittal. No man is above the law.

Sycamore is its citizens. They made it, own it and are owed a logical explanation.

There is a movement afoot to limit representatives’ terms. Some congressmen support it, some cities and states practice it, and 75 percent of polled citizens approve.

How about Sycamore?

Naw. The council would object.

How about asking the citizens?

Naw. We’re only a democratic republic.

Honor the precepts of the Founding Fathers.

John R. Beck

Sycamore

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