Cross-posted from the Brock Log.
Constituents can use the office hours to hold individual meetings to discuss their concerns with federal agencies, case work or issues pending before Congress.
I thought, perhaps and obviously wrongly, that meant that this representative would be able to answer some questions. Nothing too hard and nothing baiting. However, the representative, Ms. Janet Bradbury from Senator Dole’s Greenville office (who was quite polite), was not able to answer any questions. None. Zero. Zilch. In fact, she didn’t even read my questions (being the entrepreneurial fellow I am, I printed off two copies).
Fine. I can live with waiting for Senator Dole’s staff in Washington (because that’s who would have to answer the questions) to write me back with answers.
What I refuse to accept, however, is that Ms. Bradbury mentioned that she didn’t expect so many people to want to visit with her. I’m not sure that I understand that. There are over 150,000 people in Onslow County. How could she not have realized that maybe more than 20 people would want to talk to her? (Of course, these same people probably would’ve expected answers, as I did, and would’ve been disappointed, as am I.)
My tax dollars paid for her to drive from Greenville to Jacksonville and probably food for the day.
She didn’t even read my questions.
I did get the opportunity to listen to a handful of Onslow County residents talk about the way they feel about America, politics and politicians.
They were concerned about oil and medicare and health problems. I learned that the cheapest gas in town is available near New River at $2.939 a gallon. An older woman was concerned that with the new Medicare drug plan, she pays more than she did without the coverage.
Most felt that their words will fall on deaf ears. One voter was quite upset that the Congress gave itself a raise, but hasn't done anything for the "common man".
Some felt that with only an hour of time, the Senator's staff was not expecting a large turnout.
Nearly all felt that the local media did not provide enough notice or information. There was one small posting in the Jacksonville Daily News on one day.
Local problems were choice topics for conversation, as well.
Constituents were concerned about property taxes. Even with the reduction of the tax rate, the revaluation raised value for many landowners and will result in much higher property taxes being levied.
Several voters were concerned that the City of Jacksonville was not planning to repair the Dewitt Street dam and refill Elizabeth Lake. "That lake has meant too much to too many people" to let it go dry said one of the waiting residents.
"I don't depend on my government for anything" was a feeling expressed by many citizens.
A letter to the editor is being drafted and shall be posted when completed.
An entry on the Onslow County Politics web-log is also being drafted and will be posted as well.