We need servant leaders

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My immediate reaction to the picture to the front page of the Opinion section of the Sept. 29 Augusta Chronicle was, “That is the Supreme Court in session.” But no, it was the Augusta Commission in session. Maybe I am the only one who reacted this way, but the headline was fitting: “It’s attitude.”

The picture shows the members of the commission seated in splendor, with considerable working space and technology between them, quite elevated on their platforms, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver with even more space around him!

Our public employees used to be called civil servants. Now, they sit on their kingly thrones looking down at the rest of us from a distance. They are widely spaced, so they do not have to be personally involved with one another. And the mayor is the grandest pooh-bah of them all!

No wonder they cannot meet the common good. They are all royalty wanting their own way. Their stations in the room show clearly their ranking. And they spend our taxes as tyrants always do.

Everywhere in the United States that is not a political center, especially Washington, D.C, is called “fly-over country.” Our Founding Fathers warned about aristocracy and royalty. Well, today we have both in spite of taxation with representation. Everywhere outside City Hall is Augusta’s “fly-over” country.

Form is not everything, but it is something, and highly influential. The commission should sit in that little box in the center and the people on the elevated platform. They would be closer to each other and in their proper position as servants. Yes, “It’s attitude,” but perhaps in a more important way than the editorial staff meant it to be. It might be better for all of us if they, and we, followed the advice on our coins: “In God we trust.” He only requires 10 percent; our governments have no limit.

Ed Payne, M.D.


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Riverman1 10/05/13 - 06:38 am
The Importance of the Setting

The writer recognizes the trappings of the Commission don’t help the Commissioners remember that they are public servants. By the way, have you ever seen the Board of Education meeting room with their huge pedestal elevated very high? It looks like something suited for the Security Council at the United Nations where discussions are translated.

The setting encourages or discourages community involvement. I’d move Commission meetings to the public library like small communities do. The Commissioners should sit around a reading table with the public surrounding them. Those that act up have to sit in the children’s reading room on those little red plastic chairs.

The Mayor should clean up the table and where the public was sitting after the meeting. Fred Russell can hang out in the bathroom offering towels to those using it like attendants used to do. He can clean it afterwards.

Bodhisattva 10/05/13 - 07:13 am
But he doesn't have

But he doesn't have deductions.

deestafford 10/05/13 - 08:52 am

This has been the norm for all politicians when they have had access to the public checkbook...all the way back to Greek and Roman times.

I wish before any public "servant" spent money it was explained to them that this money requested represented the tax money from "x" number of families and do they think it is worth the hard work that the families put in for what the politician wants. For example, the average family in the US pays $10,000/year in income tax. If a congressman wanted $10 million for a project he should understand that the money represent the taxes of 1000 families and does he think those 1000 families would be happy with their tax money being spent for that.

That should be done at the local level. Like how many families' tax money went into purchasing each of those plush chairs? Does that plush, leather chair justify confiscating the tax money of "x" number of families for a commissioner to rest his butt and pontificate?

Put 'em in metal folding chairs around a table in a bowl shaped conference room with the public in the gallery like in a coliseum as was suggested. They ain't royalty...even if they think they are in their own minds.

rmwhitley 10/05/13 - 08:59 am
If you

EVER trusted a politician, your naivete' is showing.

seenitB4 10/05/13 - 10:11 am
A Legend in Their Own Minds

OOOh the seating says it all...the King sat on his throne & looked down on the masses....but who sits at the head of the table...my, my, the greatest of all....the decider in chief...I wonder if the day will come that we will see a bullet proof wall between them & the masses...:)

Read the psychology of seating in a boardroom ...the sheep are led in soooo many ways.

Fiat_Lux 10/05/13 - 11:20 am
Oh, but they are

and they serve themselves.

Sweet son
Sweet son 10/05/13 - 01:02 pm
Worst thing is that 'we' paid for all of those nice to have

thrones and electronics. The thrones are definitely way overboard and I bet few commissioners use the electronics because most don't know how.

Bet all of them can play the card games. LOL!

Darby 10/05/13 - 03:09 pm
It's been a long, long, time since our elected officials

could be realistically thought of as "public servants". Most today would more likely fit the description of "public serpents".

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