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As we have previously noted, it isn’t always easy to be a politician, especially in a small town.
Elected officials supposedly have more contact with constituents and therefore represent those interests in the way they vote the issues. However, there are times when an elected official must do what’s right, even if it goes against the grain.
Just this past week, Mayor Steve Sweeney proposed to the City Council that a tourism commission be formed to administer a 3 percent room and restaurant fee.
Sweeney envisioned that this fee — paid by the customer — would generate enough revenue to finish the downtown theater renovation (that this council voted to buy) and build a swimming pool for families and young people to enjoy during the summer.
The council members at Wednesday’s meeting — James Ellison, Brian Beeler, Mitch Phillips and Steven Brown — let Sweeney’s proposal die because they are worried that it might be seen as a tax.
Most politicians talk about doing something for young people but no one has come up with a solution until now.
Another time in the not-too-distant past officials from the health department urged the city to adopt a no-smoking ordinance in restaurants and businesses.
Sweeney called for a motion and not one council member said a word. The motion died for fear of being criticized for doing the right thing.
What will be the legacy that this council leaves for future generations?
Kudos to our mayor for having vision and a plan for Liberty. And shame on the city council for not having the fortitude to make good decisions.