I’d like to think I have been a pretty good state representative this year. 2012 has been a big year for me; I got married to the love of my life, plus I got re-elected.
I was even talked into rescuing another animal, a kitten named Woodrow, which brings our menagerie to a total of two dogs and two cats (and no, I do NOT want any more cats for Christmas or any other holiday). I didn’t raise anyone’s taxes and I fought hard on some really important issues, so I think I’ve done about as much as possible for a politician to stay off of your “naughty” list. As such, I have put together my Christmas wish list for this year.
The first item on my wish list is to have a few more hours in the day. No matter how hard I try, there’s always things I can’t get to in any given day, like phone calls and emails to constituents or research on issues and pieces of legislation I’d like to move forward. And that’s just the work stuff; I wish I could have just a little bit more time every day to spend with my wife, my pets, my family and my friends. Fortunately the important people understand I don’t have a typical nine-to-five job, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoy putting them in situations where they have to understand.
If you can’t give me more time in the day, can I borrow your reindeer to get around my district easier, or at least stow away in the cargo hold of your sleigh? It would be a huge time-saver.
Next, I wish our political debate could be a lot more civil. It seems as though legitimate debate about public policy at all levels of government, from federal all the way down to local townships, has been totally tossed aside in favor of sensationalism and personal attacks. While the public claims to detest such tactics, they are increasingly proving to be the easiest path for those who lack any real positive ideas or a desire to actually help people. We need to get back to raising public awareness on issues through informed debate, not through personal attacks, fear mongering and hypocrisy.
I’d really like to see this property tax reassessment mess fixed once and for all. I’ve done everything I could try short of getting thrown in jail to pass property reassessment reform in Harrisburg, but a couple of school districts and their lawyers are making it impossible. If you could maybe leave every house a scientifically calculated real estate valuation that would allow school districts to reassess without illegally raising taxes, I’m sure you would be thanked with enough cookies and milk to put you in a lactose-intolerant diabetic coma.
This may be a tough one, but could you figure out a way to stop short-sighted companies from bullying and dividing our communities? Much of 2012 was spent watching the people I represent turned on one another as pawns in a totally unnecessary public relations war waged for a range of reasons, none of them very good. If you could make some people a little more committed to honesty instead of playing games with people, we would all be much better off.
By the way, I want to give you a quick warning before you come into town on Christmas Eve, Santa. If you notice anything funny about the air or water, have your elves run independent testing themselves because the Pennsylvania DEP isn’t going to tell you anything. I’ll spare you the details because I’m guessing most of the people running the DEP have already landed themselves on your naughty list for a variety of reasons.
Finally, I wish every one of my constituents a safe and happy holiday with family and friends. If you can only give me one thing on this list, I think that would be the one to go with, but if you can find it in your heart to maybe end the NHL lockout and get some hockey going again, that would be just swell too.
Thank you and Merry Christmas,