It's no secret that I'm not opposed to ruffling a few feathers here and there, as I firmly believe in holding civic leaders accountable to their responsibilities and actions.  When a portion of my earnings is withheld to pay a person's salary, that makes the person MY employee.

I've invited every Tuscaloosa City Council member and every Tuscaloosa County Commissioner for an interview to keep the public abreast of what they're doing to work for us.  Over the years, only a few have taken me up on the offer.  Others have said they'd come but haven't so far.

I remember not so long ago when a Tuscaloosa City Councilman was arrested.  The district representative's constituents were supportive of their leader and separated one's personal and professional lives, much to the upsetting of others who are undoubtedly blameless.  Ever since then, I've wondered what it is that we ultimately expect from our civic leaders.  It's a given for us to want our leaders to be integritous, thoughtful, and without bias; but what constitutes a good leader?  Should the leader appease an individual which is opposed by a mass, even when the mass is wrong?  Is it the leader's responsibility to make sure one entity is supported if that means another fails?  What do you expect your city or county representative to do for you? Of course, you're aware that they work for you much more directly than federal employees, right?  When you vote, do you vote selfishly?  Are you more concerned about your representative standing as a symbol for you or is voting a popularity contest?

Should civic leaders interfere in civil disputes?  What about noise ordinances? For instance, my home is near a service station.  I knew when I bought the house that it was in a potentially high-traffic area and that not every vehicle that came through would be quiet.  Some cars come through with radios so loud that the windows on my house shake.  While it may be appealing to some, I hate the sound of loud pipes.  I remember when I worked overnights and slept during the day.  I was awakened numerous times by drivers that just felt the need to "hit it" and make the pipes roar.  They may have said to themselves, "Well, it's not too late in the evening."  But the fact of the matter is that many people work at night and sleep during the day.  Do I pressure my representative to revoke the license of the service station, request increased law enforcement patrols, or am I expected to not say anything and just deal with it even though it's diminishing my quality of life?

I'd really like to know YOUR THOUGHTS on what our civic leaders should be doing and the process you use in selecting an elected official as well as how you think law enforcement should be handled.  Do you maintain open lines of communication and view them as your employees, friends, or enemies?