This is a guest post by Disbelief

I’ve watched this parade of appointment-seekers run through the Minner administration as if the appointment itself was the goal of the whole thing.

Similarly, I’ve seen the leadership of both parties strive for the goal of incumbency, then relax as if the only purpose of the election was to get elected; and once elected, to coast through a term or two, basking in the glow of the implied importance and prestige.

Somehow, many of our elected leaders, and their power brokers, have missed the point. The goal of elected office, and by fiat the appointment of management to various State agencies, is to run the business of the State. It appears that the perceived job function of many of these agency appointments is to pretend there are no problems, deny any problems brought up by concerned citizens, and stave off any attempts at proactive management of the State resources of taxes and state employees. And here I thought the purpose of management was to identify and solve problems and proactively seek solutions to upcoming issues.

I worked on a campaign a while ago, where the candidate spent 30 hours a week after work campaigning. He won. Six months later, he said, “You know what the kicker is? If you win, you go from 30 hours extra work a week to 40, sometimes 50.”

But this guy works at his elected position. He honestly thinks he was in the political process not merely to win a race, but to manage the business of the State with honesty and competency, to the best of his ability.

I’m not whining that there is not enough selfless service to the State. The elected positions get paid pretty well. What is at issue is the work ethic and work competence of those elected. If you, as a public servant, don’t want to work, we can’t make you. But we can get you out of office. And while you’re there, appointment of sycophantic, unqualified toadies whose major job qualification is loyalty to the appointee rather than the state should be forbidden. These half-assed appointees have cost the State incredible sums in tax dollars and have driven away disgruntled yet qualified State employees.

The big party after the election where the party leaders proclaim their successes, and the winning candidates breath a sigh of relief, is not the milestone. The milestone is the two year, or four year, or six year term of service to the State and what can be done. Take it seriously. We do.

And for those of you incumbents who do show up on time, and work hard at your elected position: we see that, too. And thank you.