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Politics Unplugged

In politics, issues come and go. What remains are the officials we elect to govern us. In the case of county government, those officials are the members of the Board of Supervisors.

Currently, I am one of them, representing the citizens of Tuolumne County’s Supervisorial District 1. During the five years I have been on the Board, I have discovered that most folks in the community support the efforts of Supervisors to work in the best interests of the public. This is not to say that voters agree with us all the time. We have our critics, some of whom demean us by describing us as "stupidvisors" or something worse. However, Supervisors generally take public insults as a matter of course, knowing full well that they go with the territory.

So what motivates us to run for a job like County Supervisor? I can only speak for myself, but I think people like us have a stronger desire to be change agents than most people do. Whether that is the result of nature or nurture, I don’t know. It’s just there. Another thing about us is that we tend to believe that we are pretty important people, no matter what the evidence is to the contrary.

It is that outsized belief in ourselves that propels us into territory that most people steer clear of. We’ll make those hard decisions, we say, and we’ll take the consequences. And we will do that over and over again. You might say we are gluttons for punishment, but we don’t consider the consequences as punishment. We think we are rewarded for standing up for our principles.

Lastly, we have stretched the limits of our personalities much further than our fellow citizens find necessary. We are closer to the world of show biz than most of us care to think. One wrong move and. . .whoosh. . . we dive into the screen and become that image so many people find fascinating.

So where am I in this picture? First, I admit to being interested in seeing things change for the better in Tuolumne County. Secondly, I plead guilty to thinking I am an important person, but I’ll modify that conceit by saying that I have only come to that conclusion in my later years. Prior to age 60, it was hard for me to believe I was anything close to important.

Finally, I have always had fun pushing and pulling my personality around. Way down deep, I remain a natural introvert, but closer to the surface, I have morphed into a marginal show biz type. So, in the world of politics, I’d say I fit right in.