To the editor:
This letter is in response to Robert A. Williams’ letter last week describing Marion citizens as “scum.”
While I share his frustration regarding certain officials and their conduct, I feel compelled to defend the good people of Marion.
I live in a small town and have lived in small towns for most of my life. My elders settled in Kiowa County.
It’s not that unheard of to discover that some small town leaders suffer from “big fish in little ponds” syndrome. But we seem to take corruption for granted in urban centers while being surprised when such dramas play out in more rural areas.
The Marion County Record debacle serves as the poster child with respect to how important community newspapers are. The very free press, protected by our Constitution, can serve as a counter-balance to the self-dealing by less than honorable public officials.
Everyone who is following the Record’s efforts to shine a light on potential misdeeds, please keep in mind that the reports are focused on the alleged culprits and not reflective of the community as a whole.
Officials can make mistakes, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes corruptly.
What I’ve learned over the decades is if people become involved in a screw-up, own it, fix it and move on. Otherwise, the cover-up could ultimately be worse than the mistake.
Meanwhile, the citizens need to demand accountability to protect their own well-being.
I would expect that a number of citizens share editor Eric Meyer’s concerns about throwing good money after bad, particularly since much of that money comes from the pockets of taxpayers and local businesses. Make your voices heard!
To the city and related officials, I would offer a bit of advice from a lifetime ago when I was a sheriff’s cadet — an admonition given to a subject who was just getting himself in deeper:
When you find yourself digging yourself into a hole, don’t order up a backhoe. The deeper you go, the harder it is to get out.
Last modified Dec. 14, 2023