Jumping in Pools is proud to continue our interview series. We're interviewing people who will help shape our world in the future and try and get a look into their minds.
This interview is with Middleburgh's Town Supervisor, Dennis Richards. A tireless public servant, Dennis has helped tranform Middleburgh into a more dynamic and inviting place. He is also someone I am proud to serve with in local politics.
1. How did you get into politics?
I have always been an avid reader, particularly about American History and anything related to Theodore Roosevelt. I was class president for three years, VP and President of my High School Student Council. Was Vice President of Student Government in College and President of the largest fraternity in College. When I was 18, I attended my 1st local caucus and was the deciding vote in determining who ran for public office and that one vote was a definitive experience, I have not forgotten.
2. Where do you see Middleburgh and Schoharie County in ten years?
I am an optimist, I hope to see more regionalized services, not only in govt's but for schools also. Maybe not consolidations but centralize administrations or purchasing functions. I do not believe that we can continue to support so many forms of governmental or schools at the local level. I would like to lay the groundwork for others to develop in the future and to provide less expensive services to our taxpayers.
3. What's the most difficult part of your job?
Retuning of phone calls. I have had phone calls on Sunday morning at 6:00 AM concerning Town issues, and that impacts your home life. It is hard to manage your personal life when people hit you up on the street on issues and you have your family with you. That is part of the job. Sometimes it is hard to say why I am doing this.. The best part is seeing progress and accomplishments that take place, to do this job well you have to have a passion for your community.
4. If you were Congress, what would you enact?
I would audit the entire federal government on a department by department level to find what programs are working and what is not. The Federal govt cannot do all things for all people but they can do better things with the resources that they are given. I would not establish any new taxes until we know where the money that we are currently giving them is going. There would NOT be any closed door meetings if federal taxpayers dollars are being discussed. Both the Federal govt. and NYS decides financial matters behind closed doors. This is offensive to me since they are spending our tax dollars, not their personal money. I also believe that there should be term limits of members of congress, no more than 12 years for both the house and senate.
5. What is the biggest challenge facing the United States in the next five years? In the next twenty?
The American people must understand that there are people who would like to see us all destroyed. This war has been going on for thousands of years, the problem is that the weapons are more destructive. We Americans are losing faith in the fundamentals of personal responsibility and family. We cannot have the federal govt. serving as surrogate fathers, we need to reaffirm the American family and make people responsible for themselves. I am afraid that in the next 5 years or even 20 years from now, we will have lost the value of hard work because we expect the govt. to help. We need to become a country of strivers, not a country of critics of those who try, for those that strive shall at least know victory or failure.
We would like to thank Dennis for taking the time out to answer our questions.
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