2nd Ward candidate wants to bring new ideas to the table

Opinion

Letter to the Editor:
In 1906 in a speech in Washington DC Theodore Roosevelt said:
“To assail the great and admitted evils of our political and industrial life with such crude and sweeping generalizations as to include decent men in the general condemnation means the searing of the public conscience. There results a general attitude either of cynical belief in and indifference to public corruption or else of a distrustful inability to discriminate between the good and the bad. Either attitude is fraught with untold damage to the country as a whole. The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well-nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad. There is nothing more distressing to every good patriot, to every good American, than the hard, scoffing spirit which treats the allegation of dishonesty in a public man as a cause for laughter.
Such laughter is worse than the crackling of thorns under a pot, for it denotes not merely the vacant mind, but the heart in which high emotions have been choked before they could grow to fruition.”
TR called the journalists and activists of the day who were intent on exposing the corruption in society “muckrakers.” He felt that they did a tremendous amount of good. I consider myself a “muckraker” and have suffered for it.
Today in the USA people have become so mean and hateful when it comes to politics. We have moved from congratulating our political opponents on their victory then joining with them for the betterment of the community to beating each other down left and right and then trying to sabotage them when they do win. In the last year I have seen public officials call people stupid, troublemakers, tell people they need to see a psychologist for their different views and much more. This needs to stop. Every year the same politicians make the same promises then do nothing. This town needs a new direction.
I disagree with a fair amount that some on the city council do. However, I understand that this is a difference in opinion and I do not hate people who think differently than me. I believe that if we can all work together we can set a different path for Fort Madison. One that is set on long term goals, with honesty and openness with the community. People are tired of the backroom deal, the scratching of each other’s backs while the public loses.
I have walked this town in the last two weeks and meet hundreds of people face to face. I have stood at a man’s door while he spoke to me with tears in his eyes, as he had been laid off from Siemens and had no prospects of a new job. His voice cracked as he explained to me that he didn’t know how much longer he could make his house payment. How do you look a man like that in the eye while sitting in any elected position and do nothing. I have had trouble sleeping at night just thinking of his plight. A plight that is shared by many residents of Fort Madison, your constituents.
I have a plan to move this town forward. I propose we raise NO additional taxes that would drive off residents and industry. And that we get our finances in order by controlling spending and cutting where ever we can. I also propose that we follow the plan laid out by the zoning commission several years ago. This plan calls for the annexing of land at the city bypasses. We anchor this city at both bypasses and run water and sewer to these locations. We supply these locations with city water sewer police and fire making businesses able to shoulder the cost of building possible. From ONE simple flying J other businesses will sprout, a restaurant to serve all the customers another store to supply all these people and so on and so on. Give business a reason and opportunity to invest in our community. If we sit and do nothing our ‘bypassed town will continue to decline.
This is one of many ideas that we can do to stop the slow decline of this city and get us back on a path of growth and prosperity. I promise you that I will do everything I can every day to honor those people I have spoken face to face with. That I will not stop fighting for you, that I will try everything in my power to help you get back to work.
There are a lot of good people that want to do right for the city and their neighbors. If we can all come together and stop the needless name calling and vicious attacks we can find solutions to problems. I am asking that you help me make this all possible, I am asking for your vote to represent you in Ward 2 in the special election.

Jerry Hamelton
2nd Ward Candidate

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