Weather Forecast


Government begins at the grassroots

People who want to change what their government does to or for them must start by knowing who good legislators are. This starts at the lowest levels of government known as grassroots. That’s us, we are the grass roots!

The path to more responsible government is to really know who you have elected in the past and to show your approval or disapproval at the ballot box. Listen to the candidates and hear what they say. Does Councilman X or Commissioner Y spend your money wisely? Do they make themselves available before important issues are voted on? Can they explain what they did on an issue and why they did it? Do they treat your tax money as theirs or yours? Do their past decisions show they know the value of a dollar? Are their values consistent with yours? Does past performance merit re-election?

Some of our elected officials aspire to higher offices and some are worthy but, some are not. If we pass on a poor legislator from the City Council to the County Board of Commissioners we have no one to blame but ourselves If we pass a poor Commissioner on to the state legislature, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we pass a good one on, we can all congratulate ourselves because everyone benefits.

The glad handing and back slapping season will soon be on us and when a politician asks for your vote look him/her straight in the eye and say “Why should I vote for you? What are your priorities? Do you spend money wisely? What are your plans for the next legislative session.” Specifically how do you intend to help our city/county? “When an important vote is going to be taken are you going to listen to the voters who put you in office or are you going to vote without knowing what we think? How will you communicate your intentions to us so we can discuss your position(before a vote is taken) if we disagree with it?“ These are all perfectly legitimate questions and should be easily answered by any political candidate. You may or may not like the answers which makes the choice of who to vote for easy.

We the people have control of our destiny, but its up to each of us to take seriously the election process, know the candidates and exactly what they stand for or against. Vote for those who will do what you want done. The upcoming election is especially important and every issue you vote on and every candidate you vote for will determine our path forward.

Pat Williams


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889