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Letters to the editor

Most local government elected officials serve part-time. And most of these officials and most citizens do not have previous government experience.

So most local government elected officials and citizens are not initially political science or public administration technical experts. This is a partial explanation of why we are not running our unique system of popular sovereign self-government the way it is designed. But it is certainly no good excuse.

Most local government elected officials and citizens are also not accountants. So they are not initially familiar with fund accounting and reporting.

Fund accounting and reporting are the foundation of a local government’s public budget process. And inclusive public engagement in a local government’s budget process is our primary means of ensuring that elected officials and citizens are sufficiently well informed about planned and actual financing, spending, and other activities to meaningfully competently, responsibly, and responsively oversee them.

In recent decades, the inclusiveness of public engagement in Livingston County’s public budget process, and the public interest ambition and responsiveness of that process, have withered.

If we want to reclaim government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must band together, educate and support each other, reawaken and actualize the County’s public budget process, and pay it forward enhanced to our children, our grandchildren, and posterity.

Dick Haas, Pontiac

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