Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Remember Local Government Officials This Labor Day

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Remember Local Government Officials This Labor Day

Article excerpt

Labor Day. It's an opportunity to take a Monday off and bid the summer farewell, and most of us don't give much thought to the historical event we're supposed to be honoring. The holiday, after all, recognizes the toils of the nation's working men and women. And that pretty much includes everybody.

But as we pause to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold," as American Federation of Labor co-founder Peter J. McGuire said, let us give a special nod to those individuals who have given up most of their free time in the name of community pride and civic duty--local elected officials.

These are the people who usually work a full day on the job in offices, stores, or other work places in their community, and then go immediately to a city council meeting for discussions which are far from happy-hour chatter, and which often last long into the night.

They analyze data and make recommendations to ensure the garbage is picked up and the water is safe to drink. They send out the snow plows and sand trucks to get roadways cleared in the pre-dawn hours before schools and businesses, open. They study plans and proposals to see how they can help rebuild or improve their city's economic condition. They debate ways to balance the needs of young skate-boarding enthusiasts with the needs of storefront businesses and consumers.

Other evenings are likely to be spent at public hearings, work sessions, budget reviews, neighborhood or civic association meetings and other community events. …

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