Hey there, happy Friday and all that. I had something completely different planned for today but took it down after getting a phone call from someone Thursday night who I respect a great deal. So, with that, here’s the abridged version of that blog…
For no particular reason, here are three guidelines that I tend to follow in writing Just Wright Citrus. It’s fair that you know where I’m coming from.
— First off, we cover tough topics head on so everyone can be in on the conversation. We don’t go chasing down every rabbit hole, but I absolutely believe that the way to make it through challenges is to talk openly about them. Libraries, sheriff spending, mental illness, parkway, turnpike, county government politics — it’s all on the table.
While we may not write about everything, I have yet to look at something and say to myself, “Whoa, better not touch that.”
The day we can’t talk about our stuff is the day our progress stops.
— No grudges. Because someone has behaved a certain way in the past does not dictate their behavior today.
This is particularly true of political campaigns. Look, no way around it, they’re messy. The nicest people become Lord Voldemort and stay awake 20 hours a day thinking of ways to one-up the opposition.
But shouldn’t we encourage the winners even if they’re not our choice?
I don’t know how we got into this frame of mind that we want our political opponents to fail once in office. I seriously don't get it.
Well, I’ll tell you what. That may be the political thinking in Washington and Tallahassee, but it has no place here in Citrus County. NONE. We have a ton on our plate and new office holders need support, not people looking for every opportunity to play gotcha.
A lot of people aren’t happy with that approach. They want me to keep the thumb on some current and former politicians no matter what they do or say, and are astounded when I write the opposite.
Look. It’s not difficult. Whether I support someone for office or not, I want that person to succeed once elected. That means both encouragement and criticism, as warranted.
— We keep it nice. The conversation is on point but polite. No name calling, no labels. Just Wright Citrus should be a safe place for information and debate and I do my best to keep it that way.
Because of those ground rules, Just Wright Citrus readers fuel the blog, not me. You think the politicians read it daily to see what I say? Partially, but they’re laser focused on the comments. When there’s that much informed debate taking place and the decision-makers are paying attention, that’s how the needle moves.
There’s a lot going on at this little blog.
As you can imagine, hitching a sponsorship wagon to the Just Wright Citrus post isn’t for the squeamish. Nor for those easily offended. That’s why I routinely drop in a Facebook post asking readers to support our sponsors. It’s much more than the money. They’re attaching their valued business name to mine, and I greatly value that trust and support.
A good friend told me recently she considers the blog Citrus County’s think tank. What a great description, and I owe that to readers and sponsors who keep this thing plugging along.
And with that, I think I’ll enjoy another Citrus weekend. You do the same, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.