Mike Boyce: What It Means to Be a Public Servant

Mike Boyce is running for Chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners. Below he details his ideas of public service. You can (and should!) learn more about him at http://www.likemike4cobb.com

Jessica and I meet frequently as we campaign in Cobb County.  She is the Campaign Manager for  Cindi Yeager in her bid for District Attorney and I’m in the race for Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.  She has asked me to blog about my run.  The most precious commodity in any campaign is time and if yours is limited like mine, I would encourage you to visit my website at www.likemike4cobb.com or Facebook site at Like Mike 4 Cobb.  You’ll find information about my background, the skills that I bring to the office of Chairman, and, in the spirit of David Letterman, 10 reasons why people should vote for me.

I believe that the Chairman is charged with the credo that he will lead a government that is fiscally responsible, lives within its means, and works with the business community to create an economic environment which encourages entrepreneurship and promotes responsible growth.  Above all, the chairman (and any elected official) should be a person who is known by the promises he keeps.  I was in the Marine Corps for 30 years and it was a world of black and white: you did it or you did not do it.  A wag once said, To err is human, to forgive divine, neither of which is Marine Corps policy.  It’s humorous but there is a core of truth in it.

Having said that, why would I want to devote almost every waking moment for 9 months of my life and spend money that could be used on my family or applied to an already long delayed bucket list to aspire a to a position that, if I am successful in attaining, will result in a daily public scrutiny that leaves you with no private life,  where half the voters on your best day will be angry at you, and any accomplishments will be heralded long after you are gone and or will be so grudgingly acknowledged that they will seem like pyrrhic victories at the time?  I can assure you that I seek this office for the same reason that in my Marine Corps career I endured low pay, public hostility during the era of the Vietnam War, frequent separations from my family, deployments to places that really sucked and inhabited by people who shot at you, and flew in aircraft usually built by the lowest bidder: Because I love my country and community and any inconveniences pale in significance to the blessing of being part of both.  I believe that people who are truly committed to Public Service do so for the same reason that they make sacrifices in their spiritual journey:  Because they recognize that the reward is in the service.   A public servant makes a contract with the people to serve them and he does so based on his or her word.  The character trait most commonly associated with this partnership is integrity.  But it’s based on a promise, and a promise is something that must be kept.

This brings us back to the credo in the second paragraph.  I’m in this campaign because I continue to choose a life marked by servant hood.  I promise to lead a government that is lean because it will be fiscally responsible.  When our projected expenses are larger than our income, we won’t be furloughing police and firefighters to pay the bill like the current Chairman has done.   We also won’t be mirroring his support of new and higher taxes, actions which do not reflect Republican values.  We either live up to our word as Republicans by seeking lower taxes and smaller government or we don’t.  It’s that simple; it’s that black and white.  How we do that is politics; that we do that is keeping our promise.

Public involvement in County government makes government more responsive and effective.  Your vote does make a difference.   The 2011 Cobb County SPLOST vote was decided by less than 100 votes and was actually losing in the advanced and absentee voting ballots.  Moreover, if the 2010 Primary serves as the standard, a candidate may win with just 13% of the registered voters.  We need to stop taking all our benefits and freedoms for granted and reengage.

Cobb County makes it very easy both to register and to vote.  For registration, download and return the self-stamped form at http://elections.cobbcountyga.gov/pdf/RegistrationApplication.pdf .  If you are going to be out of town or are too busy to vote on July 31st apply for an absentee ballot in June at http://elections.cobbcountyga.gov/pdf/2012/2012AbsenteeApplication_GeneralPrimary.pdf.

I once heard an Army Genera  remark that to be born free is an accident, to live free is a privilege, to die free is a responsibility.  Let’s join together and exercise our freedom to vote.


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