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Take the time to learn

To the editor:

A recent question in the Sound-Off feature of this newspaper asked readers whether local government officials are transparent in their work. Only 14 percent answered yes to this question.

I’ve gone to many meetings of local government entities, including village councils, county commissions and boards of health ,and these gatherings were generally rather lightly attended. I always came away with a better understanding of how government works. Government works slowly and deliberates carefully. This may seem boring and ponderous to a society that is used to quick takes and fascinating factoids, but the results often affect the lives of many people so a short attention span is a serious hazard when an important issue is being decided. The results are often less than perfect but that reflects society in general.

None of us would look very good if our every move and action were subject to public scrutiny. In short, none of us is perfect and not one of us likes to be reminded of this painful reality. So, the next time you raise your voice against the local school board, hold your tongue until after you’ve spent some time examining just what it is they do and how they do it, and ask yourself how you might handle such a thankless, but crucial, job.

John Rucki

Amsterdam

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