The Cost of Not Voting

by Joe Fitzgerald 

If I were a more articulate man, I could explain what sorry shape the governments of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are in right now.

Rational people have little doubt about the county. The biggest government expense, the school system, is currently being run by people who do not know what they are doing. That’s one possibility anyway. The other is that they’re causing randomly divisive chaos on purpose.

In the city the schools are being run well, but the city council approves housing as if it were free. The schools will be overcrowded soon enough. Five years? Ten? We can’t afford to build another one.

Relationships are being destroyed. The city flirts with leaving the Chamber of Commerce. The county board casually damages the shared technical center. Massanutten Pique would describe their behavior.

There used to be a business and professional class of people who capped career accomplishments with service to their community. They’re not stepping forward. Cincinnatus is staying behind his plow.

What happened?

The deadline to run for Harrisonburg City Council is less than three months away. The guy who hasn’t held a job in 20 years isn’t on the ballot. The ad salesman and the environmental ideologue are. It doesn’t look good.

Sometime in 2025 the council will do something blundering or damaging and people will act surprised. Just as eight years before people surprised by the election of Donald Trump rallied on Court Square. After the election. Just as people in Rockingham County are trying to organize against the amateurish flailing of their School Board. After the election.

Elections have consequences. So does ignoring them.

Joe Fitzgerald is a former mayor of Harrisonburg. Republished with permission from Still Not Sleeping.