When I first started this group, our BOS was considering a penalty ordinance for individuals not wearing masks and businesses not enforcing them.
I was proud of our board for listening to our hearts and not instituting that ordinance. I truly believed we had a largely ethical and moral community leadership overall.
Since then, more and more information has come to light that has completely destroyed that belief – creating a passion in me to work towards educating our community and helping people get involved in our county.
Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
Integrity is a critical component to anyone holding an elected or appointed government office, as well as for being an officer, prosecutor, etc. People aren’t perfect, we all have failings in their lives – we are all just human.
But how do we handle things when we mess up? Do we own it and work towards improving? Or do try to cover it up and act like we didn’t do wrong?
To me – that’s what integrity is all about. It’s not just trying to do the right thing – it’s also having the willingness to acknowledge our failures.
Over the last 2 years, people have brought to my attention concerns they’ve had in the running of our county. Concerns at every level of local government.
Initially, I dismissed most of the complaints because they came from people I thought were being petty or had wrong motives.
But here’s the thing – even if they are petty and have wrong motives, they aren’t necessarily wrong!
The more I learn, the more disappointed I am in how unethical the people are who manage our local lives. We elect people into positions of authority and responsibility – people who represent us in making decisions about our community.
Shouldn’t we be able to ask them anything BEFORE we vote? Shouldn’t we want potential problem areas made public BEFORE we vote? Shouldn’t we be digging into their lives so we know we are voting for the person who will accurately and effectively represent us with integrity and intention?
Yesterday, information was made public about one of the candidates for sheriff. The person who shared this information had an anonymous account. The initial response from the candidate in question was to deny it and accuse the other candidate of dirty politics.
Some people understand the gravity of the issue – others immediately trusted the candidate in question and offered him support – without doing any research into whether the allegation was true and without understanding the weight of the issue.
It was that easy to convince people.
Why? Because we don’t like confrontation. We don’t like hard conversations. We don’t want to be part of the yucky stuff.
Where has this gotten us? We feel bad for the person “being attacked” and so we go vote for them. And we end up with a bunch of people in office who have a history of deceiving us!
Politics are ugly because people have a history. The question isn’t who has more history – the question is who handles their own history with integrity.
There are several positions in Tehama County that have more than 1 candidate. Don’t just watch for who has the better sign – don’t make your decision on who presents him or herself better. Dig in when issues come up and go learn the truth.
Ask questions of everyone! Someone has answers.