What if you landed a job and came to work only four out of every five days you were scheduled or maybe even two days out of five?
Barring any unusual circumstances, you’d probably be shown the exit. Yet that is the kind of commitment Delmar residents are seeing from some of the officials they voted to represent them.
Constituents have a right to expect that their representatives attend meetings to ask questions, pass along their views, make informed decisions and/or at least be a number to make up a quorum. That can’t happen from an empty chair.
It’s fair to say most people who enter public service start with good intentions. This is particularly true at the town and school board level. But whatever motivates a candidate, a thorough self-assessment of commitment and time constraints is in order before filing to run. Besides attending meetings, they must read the materials, attend events, keep up on issues and answer constituents’ calls and emails.
Blending public service with careers and family life will test even the most organized person’s time management skills. Illnesses, family challenges or job changes cannot be predicted, and an occasional vacation should be allowed. But the amount of work required to serve shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who achieves an office. The no-show elected members in Delmar personify missed opportunities. They must shift their priorities, keep their promise and be fully accountable to the taxpayers, who deserve better representation from the people they elect or be honest and resign and let someone else take over.