Think About It: Government Defined - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

February 21, 2013

Think About It: Government Defined

New Zealand's Local Government Act of 2002 states that the purpose of local government is to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future. Sounds reasonable to me, but the devil is always in the details and in the eye of the beholder.

Recently, local government here has made overtures to tax soft drinks, mandate larger fines on negligent property owners, clean sidewalks of tents and other items, and has recommended many other so-called fixes to our society as always occurs during the short legislative session. So when does government overstep its boundaries? When does it go too far? When does it impede too far into the lives of the very citizens it is supposed to be helping but not man-handling? Well, that answer usually depends on your perspective and your personal situation.

Too much government? Perhaps not when it comes to repairing our roads and upgrading our public schools, not when it comes to protecting our country, our wildlife, and our shorelines, not when it comes to my earned Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks. Disgruntled people say they want government to stay out of their lives, and rightfully so in some cases, but they sure like knowing that local authorities are working on solving crime problems in their neighborhoods. It's a battle of balancing our needs and our rights while not overstepping the granted power of authority. So right now, you need to speak up at the local legislative level to help ensure that your voice is heard and, most importantly, listened to. That's part of government's role, too. Think about it…


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