Council Blog: Taking My First Steps

Since my previous blog about being accepted as a junior councilman, I’ve attended two borough council meetings. To say the least, it’s been quite the learning experience. Each week, one thing with a particular relation to libertarianism always sticks out, but the major thing which I hope our movement begins to focus on is the fact that libertarianism applies locally.

October 19th Meeting:
 
Our October 19th meeting was a work meeting, in which affairs in the borough are discussed but nothing new can be voted on by the council. Even though there were only two people observing, only about half the council was present and the discussion over the few issues we had was limited, one thing we talked about in particular got my attention.

The council recently received a grant from a higher level of government for a recycling program. They had allocated all the money they needed to fund the program, but still had a few thousand Federal Reserve Notes remaining. That is a nice amount of money for a town of 5000 people. Anyway, what’s the problem? Unfortunately, the council was forced to spend the money on something recycling related so they decided that they would spend the few thousand FRNs left on recycling calendars for the citizens. Of course, this forced waste of money was perfectly acceptable because better us use it than somebody else.  Although government could be much more efficient if money stayed local, money is best kept in the hands of the individual.

November 2nd Meeting:

Unlike the previous meeting, we had a full house of at least thirty people and we were only missing one member of the council. Anyway, the topic of the day was the local Dunkin Donuts causing various problems to the residents of the borough, such as litter from the garbage, Dunkin Donuts employees parking, completely legally, on residential streets and the large amount of aggressive traffic that goes through the area in the morning when children are headed to school.

Particularly, a woman was complaining that tractor trailers were driving over her median and damaging her property. She had other complaints about the traffic in a public alley also, but the tractor trailers driving over her property was what she stressed. Since zoning laws prohibit her from putting something on her median, like perhaps a large mailbox and a sturdy, thick cement pole that would obstruct the tractor trailers from damaging her property, she went to the government, complained to the government and suggested a solution from the government in a a loud, angry fashion. Its not that her anger wasn’t justified but where she took it out is the problem. She did not understand that everyone can solve their own problems as long as they have the freedom to do so. Her anger should have been at restrictive zoning laws, not a failure to take more action.

There is always a way to get involved, it’s just up to you to find it. Remember, at 211 degrees, water is hot.  At 212 degrees, it boils.  And with boiling water, comes steam.  And with steam, you can power a train.  One degree. –212 Excerpt

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