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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Does It Take To Be A Public Servant?

(Introduction: What do you think? Does the title of this blog post of mine political (even if I keep on saying I'm apolitical)? I don't know or think so. What can I say, my dear folks and friends, but I'm a practicing (or call me a devout) Catholic Christian and a U.S. (naturalized) citizen. I have exercised my suffrage or participated in elections in the past. And, as a concerned, law-abiding citizen, I intend to do it again this year. I have expressed my (political) views before as evidenced in the following article (which appeared in Suffolk News-Herald on October 2, 2008) that I'm going to share with you, if you allow me, please. I need to omit, chop off, or not to include, the first three small paragraphs as they're no longer relevant to the present situation. Thank you.

I know, it's only a matter of weeks before we have the  Election Day in America on Tuesday, 06 November 2012. And, observably, political campaigning has been in full swing for months. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates have been crisscrossing the country, especially in those so-called swing or battleground states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia. And, whether we like it or not, we have to get (actively) involved in the political affairs of the country because, one way or another, we're affected by what's going on in our society, government, for as long as we're resident-tax payers of the country.) 

Possibly more applicable or appropriate for local government employees, I believe, here's the text of what I've written (and published) four years ago...

Now, (this is just my take), here's my personal perspective on what it takes to be a public servant. If you're a public servant, you're prone to scrutiny by the public and the media. That's the price you have to pay. Your actions and decisions are being analyzed and, at times, criticized. Your critics and detractors are always on constant watch. They're critical in every move you make and every action (or position) you take.

As a public servant, you are accountable for all your actions. You are responsible to your constituents (who supported you, financially or otherwise), and the whole populace, who look up to you for (strong, exemplary) leadership, honesty, and integrity.

Leadership and transparency are two of the important qualities I (personally) am looking for in a public servant. Without these characteristics, such public servant ceases to be one. He or she leads by example. what he or she preaches, he or she practices and applies in his daily life.

A public servant is a public trust (we know that). I want a public servant who is trustworthy; who can genuinely serves the public and not the other way around, that is, to be served by his/her constituents. If he or she has a conflict of interest in serving his or her people, then he or she should have no business governing or leading the people. as I've mentioned, he or she should put his or her own welfare aside for the public's welfare. 

As they say, you cannot serve two masters at the same time. (If you do, you don't have the same degree or intensity of attention or service for both, I believe.) Where lies your interest? Your own personal business or the people's business? If your interest is not in the welfare of the people who elected you, then you have no business working in the government. Make way for someone or somebody who is truly and sincerely a servant of the people and not  the one being served. After all, you are a public servant whose primary duty is to serve the public, the people in the community who look up to you for your excellent or outstanding public service. Then and only then will you be known as a leader who inspires, motivates, listens, leads by example, and leads us to progress, prosperity, and success.

Politicians take heed: You volunteered to serve the public or the government. therefore, you are obligated to serve in the best interest of the people whom you govern and lead. You are not in the office to make yourself rich at the expense of your constituents. Don't let your people down and don't disappoint them. If you do, and become corrupt or ineffective and unresponsive to their needs, you lost their trust and respect. they will find ways and means by which you will be ousted or removed from your office or post. Don't ever think that because you're powerful you can't be replaced. There are a lot of people out there who are watching you and monitoring your intentions, dealings and movements, with the advancement of technology. Be aware that, as I've mentioned earlier, you're under public scrutiny all the time! The electorate is not dumb. (They may seem passive but they're vigilant.) Your character speaks of you. So, are you ready to serve us, to lead us the way to a more progressive community (or country), to govern us in a manner that exemplifies the true public service, in the real sense of the word? Are you ready to listen, to go out personally and feel the pulse of the community/ Are you ready to sacrifice your time, talent , and treasure where needed?-chris a. quilpa, 17 October 2012

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