At the County Government Level

Mike Stegall

At the county government level, we constantly weigh personal rights and freedoms against the public interest. Our first priority is to protect the rights of individuals. Our second priority is to do what’s best for the county at large. When those two priorities are in conflict, we make the best decision we can. And when we get it wrong? Boy does the public let us year about it. Then we try to correct our mistakes.

I worry that the federal government, so big and domineering, has come to neglect this delicate balance in favor of a default approach of overregulation and outreach. The rights of responsible, sensible adults appear to be a forgotten priority in Washington.

Just one example: I understand the Administration intends to ban tobacco products outright next year. This is silly. The federal government should not be in the business of managing people’s lives for them. Yet whenever we turn, Washington is either mandating or proscribing health care decisions, food choices, and consumer preferences.

This policy is so obviously fraught with negative consequences. Who will police it, for example: Especially when a new criminal black market emerges to fill the void, which is inevitable.

Here’s hoping the new Congress that will be sworn in next January will restore some level of respect for personal privacy and freedoms in Washington.

Mike Stegall