Don't Ignore Your Local Government
Few people I know think much about politics at the local level. Many people vote blindly for judges, city counsel, county boards, and state house members, not even recognizing the names on the ballot or knowing anything at all about their agendas, beliefs, or past actions in government. Yet all those people have power over you.
They may determine such things as whether you can water a lawn and when, and how you will wash your car. They determine the extra fees and regulations you must pay and follow before you replace your water heater or furnace system or let your kids build a tree house. They determine how fast you can drive, what your child will study in school, how many pets you can have, whether you can build anything on that property you bought as an investment or to build your retirement home on.
They determine how much tax you will pay, the condition of your roads, how many hours your library can stay open, and how local businesses can operate. You may not find out the extent of their power and how it affects your life until they tell you that you can't do something you wanted to do and seemed reasonable to do because it would violate some regulation they made. You may even find they can take your land away from you without paying you what it's worth.
The people you see at the front of this room have, with two exceptions, decided that certain people may not plant crops or build houses on their land because they have not yet done it. This prohibition will stay in effect until some new government agency or plan is in place to control water use -- even of those who have their own wells in an area that has experienced no problems with the water table. The unlucky ones in this situation have seen their land values drop by thousands of dollars an acre because no one who wants to buy their land will want to be prevented from using it to plant or build. People who own thousands of acres are being treated he same way as those who own only five or ten.
It pays to pay attention to city and county government . Go to a few meetings and see how your elected officials behave and what they have in mind. You might be surprised enough to start finding and supporting different candidates.
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