April 2008

Where to start? By definition, most columns should be opinion based, though Superintendent’s Profile should never take a political stance. This publication should just be about you, your crews, your work, your communities and the issues and challenges you face every day. As a result, when something political happens in New York State, I’m always uncomfortable using this space as an opportunity to express any political view. Simply, the only political opinions that matters are yours and that’s my opinion.

But ignoring what former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has done is difficult. The transparency of his staggering hypocrisy and reprehensible breach of public trust renders any effort toward an opinion of him and his actions a waste of time. And he wasted our time enough already.

When politicians break the law or are caught committing ethical lapses, the media and public focus on them and their misdeeds. The story becomes about them, not about what they were supposed to be doing in their jobs. You know, the one in which they’re working for us, solving problems, confronting issues that affect our quality of life in our state and country.

Another distraction is another workday lost; another budget misses deadline, another aging bridge grows older by another day and on and on and on.

This can’t continue. Other countries like China are catching up to us. While they’re building up their infrastructure, ours is deteriorating. While they’re manufacturing, we’re importing. While they’re building up their military, we’re locked into Iraq.

Maybe things will get better. I guess they always do. But maybe, despite some past ethical problems of his own, our new governor, David Paterson, will be able to keep his eyes focused on his job and its immense responsibilities, for our sake, for a change. P

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