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Martin: Public service not just a job "for pay and benefits"

Martin: Public service not just a job "for pay and benefits"

Author: Action News 17/Sunday, September 8, 2019/Categories: Front Page, Voices

Dear Editor:

I’ll admit I was on the sidetrack from pain before a surgical procedure and missed a City Council meeting. And I admit I took my first real vacation in years during recuperation time.

I was somewhat “out of the loop” for that while and came home to read some three weeks of newspapers in one sitting while listening to and watching our local political hopefuls on TV internet interviews.

I am heartsick.

I wonder if I have wasted the last two-and-one-half years of my life researching local, state and federal statistics, success stories and events as I interviewed professionals from those areas to write about how our city is head and shoulders above many of larger size. How leaders from some other municipalities tell me they wish they had as much going for them as Ponchatoula but they don’t want to do all the months and years of ongoing paperwork and meetings it takes to get the grants and projects.

I’m reading about “this or that hasn’t been done” and I’m reading “promises” of what this or that one will do “when” elected.

But, Honey, if I were running for public office I would have been attending City Council meetings, visiting City Hall interviewing staff about what they do, following the mayor and city workers around, not to mention the ones of the city councilmen who return the calls of their constituents and stay informed all month to take action on second Monday nights.

I would go back and read some of the many articles that have appeared in the media (mine included) showing that “this or that” has long since already been addressed, done or is still in the doing by Mayor Bob Zabbia and his administration. I’d read about the partnerships between the City of Ponchatoula, the parish, the state and the accomplishments those have brought and bring about.

Serving the public as an elected official is not just a job to get for pay and benefits.

It is an around-the-clock calling that comes from deep within the heart and soul and reaches out with love and hard work for the city and each of her people.

Kathryn J. Martin

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