I recently saw the big news that our Aubrey mayor pro tem made a wager with the Pilot Point, TX mayor regarding next year's high school football game. It is not unusual for politicians at all levels to make friendly wagers like this. It shows a sense of pride for the community and in this particular case, probably a pretty good bet, as the Aubrey football team has greatly improved over the last couple of years. Having said that, I also think that politicians do little stunts like this to divert attention from the fact that they’re not doing the job they should be.
While this little bet does show community pride, neither one of these individuals have any influence over which team will win the next football game. They are not the coaches of these teams, nor will they suit up for the fall classic. What if they put this sense of community pride into something like lowering property taxes or giving the taxpayers more value for their tax dollars? What if these two officials made a wager on who could have the best roads in two years, or the most efficient public works department? That's not as sexy in Texas as the high school football game, but has a lot more impact on every aspect of the community. Having good infrastructure attracts businesses and developers, which Aubrey has not done over the last couple of years.
While there's nothing wrong with making a wager supporting your local school, there is a requirement to put that same energy into the job they were actually elected to do. I could only hope that the same community pride will be put into things that will really make the community better. I can only hope that they focus on real issues. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that our officials will take on those things that matter, and I am less optimistic that their citizens will hold them accountable for their failures.
One great example of a lack of prioritization is that our Aubrey city council has spent several hours debating how many pets each household can legally have. However, it is doubtful that they will spend minutes on how the five plus million dollar budget will be spent. There will be a lot of energy on how to raise taxes or revenue, but absolutely no energy or discussion on if taxes could be lowered or how to provide better services. I hope our officials think about this, and I hope the populous hold them accountable to put their energy into things that affect the entire community.