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Article published April 25, 2013
Attitude is dangerous
Gary Neely Connoquenessing Township
There is a relatively new trend with our elected officials to respond to letters, emails or phone calls only to those they consider their direct constituents. I ran into this a few years ago when I tried to get in touch with U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha of Johnstown on an important issue. All my inquiries to that congressman, who has since died, were returned, unanswered or acknowledged, because, according to his office, I wasn’t a constituent of his. Regardless of who voted these people into office, once there they make decisions that affect all Americans. In many of their opinions, we citizens work for them instead of them working for us. That is an extremely dangerous attitude for an elected official to have. It usurps the Constitution and can lead to dictatorship. It seems this attitude has infected at least one of our local politicians. Commissioner Jim Eckstein finally returned a call made by a prominent Butler County businesswoman who had been trying to reach him concerning an office building that the county government was considering buying as an extension to the Government Center. After numerous failed attempts to reach Eckstein, he finally returned her call. But rather than discuss the issue in question, this “little Napoleon” attacked and insulted the woman, telling her that she wasn’t a constituent of his and felt no need to answer her questions. The woman in question lives in Butler County and pays taxes in Butler County, but in his mind she is not a constituent of his. When found, these want-to-be tyrants should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Elected officials who feel they are not answerable to the public are the poster boys of what’s wrong with all levels of government today.