The Valdosta Daily Times
Every Wednesday through 2013, The Times will publish only positive raves, along with a feature on a member of the community. Each month has a different theme, and for March, it’s our local governments.
Valdosta and Lowndes County are two of the largest employers in the county. While the public’s attention is generally focused on the elected officials and the decision makers, more than 1,000 employees work for them who often go unrecognized for all they do to provide services to the community.
All are critical in their own way in ensuring that the citizens of the community are safe, receive assistance in times of emergency, and are provided essential services.
Officials may make policy decisions, but it is the government worker who carries out these decisions and ensures that citizens’ needs and concerns are addressed. Government employees build sidewalks, repair potholes, fix traffic signals, enforce the law, put out fires, administer programs to assist individuals, apply for grant funding to provide for citizens’ needs, enforce codes, and much more.
President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
While comedians have used the quote as great joke material for years, times have changed since the 1980s and most citizens view government a little differently nowadays, at least at a local level. Government jobs don’t carry the stigma that they once did, and at least in our community, workers generally don’t receive the kind of hostility usually directed at the federal level.
Even though government employees are more appreciated today, they are still not recognized as often as they should be. For the month of March, though, The Times hopes to change that.