Thinking Aloud: Legislature giving power back to people

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

&8220;Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.&8221;

&045; Abraham Lincoln

State Sen. &8220;Jabo&8221; Waggoner, who represents part of Shelby County, has introduced a bill in the Alabama Legislature that would provide Shelby County voters the chance to vote &8220;yes&8221; or &8220;no&8221; on how to pay for road improvements in the county.

In other words, passage of Waggoner&8217;s bill would give local folks the chance to say how or if they would like to address problems like crowded roads, dangerous intersections and the like.

That seems like a reasonable thing to me. I am not certain if Waggoner is for or against any of the possible funding solutions that might be considered if his bill passes. That is not the point.

The chief question for our legislative delegation at this juncture is, in my mind, do the people back home deserve the right to vote &8220;yes&8221; or &8220;no&8221; on how to solve their own problems.

Whether or not a particular legislator would support one particular solution over another is a question for another day; what is before our representatives now is a much simpler question: Are the people that elected me smart enough to decide for themselves what, if anything, they want to do about traffic woes here in Shelby County?

Thankfully, all indications are that most members of our legislative delegation support the people&8217;s right to vote on the issue.

One lone senator, Hank Erwin, stands in opposition to Waggoner&8217;s bill.

True leadership many times comes in the form of having the courage to do what is right rather than to do what is politically expedient. Waggoner has certainly displayed courage in supporting our right to vote and deserves our thanks for doing so.

At the heart of a democracy is the people&8217;s right to vote and most certainly people in Shelby County should be allowed the opportunity to decide for themselves if fixing transportation in our county is something worth supporting.

One lone man in Montgomery should not have that right