Conservative. Liberal. Big government. Small government. Republican. Democrat. There was lots of talk leading up to the recent primary on the meaning of these words.
During early voting I spent time each day at Carroll's polling location. For much of that time I stood near a gentleman volunteering for a candidate in a different race. We ended up engaging in many conversations, including about our kids, recreational, travel and collegiate sports, local recreational facilities and lack thereof, taxes, jobs, local government and a little about politics.
Certainly there were things we disagreed on, but, at one point, he asked why I was a Democrat, because I sounded pretty conservative, and commended me on my two sons, also volunteering, as it appeared my husband and I did a good job raising them. This made me wonder if folks might also be surprised to learn my husband and I will soon be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, I have a credit score over 800, we generally buy used cars, have lived in the same house for over 25 years and have enjoyed winters with a freezer full of venison or beef thanks to my husband's good aim and our friend's farm. The list goes on.
People say one way to tell conservatives from liberals is their stance on smaller government. But what does smaller government mean? Even most who shout about smaller government want regulations about the things they think should be regulated. I am not a supporter of the past four years of tax and fee increases at the state level. But I do think local government should listen to its constituents and try to help provide desired services where possible, especially where partnerships can be created to help with funding.
The Carroll County Firearms Facility is a good example of this. Installing turf fields at our high schools could be another. Working together with the school board and local community associations, there are ways to accomplish this with no additional tax dollars. Is this big government or simply being responsive to residents while also fiscally responsible?
Although the primary is over, choices are available still in November. I urge voters to look past labels and parties. Learn about candidates' experiences and positions relevant to the office and decide who will actively work for Carroll and all its citizens in an efficient and responsible manner.
The writer is a candidate for county commissioner representing District 3.