A documentary debuted this week on the life of Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas who rose to fame, or some might say infamy after a 1988 speech at the Democratic National Convention during which she accused George Bush of being born with a silver foot in his mouth.
While Governor Richards was well known for her one-liners, it was a speech she made when she was first elected governor I remember best. In it she said government should work for people and not the other way around.
It is a lesson lost on many politicians today.
It is not lost on some of the members of the county council and most notably Roger Berliner who has been fighting the Pepco monopoly for the last few years.
The beleaguered electricity provider sold for literally billions and billions of dollars in cash to Exelon Corp. this week after several years of providing questionable or non-existent service to its customers and asking for rate increases every year.
The joke among Pepco customers for years is how can you tell a calm sunny day from a stormy day in Montgomery County? The answer; on the stormy day you at least have a chance of guessing why your power isn’t on.
Well apparently we’ll have no Pepco to kick around any more. Exelon Corp. the owner of BG&E and a proud owner of several questionable nuclear reactors in and around the area has coughed up enough cash to make Pepco go away.
Now, more than ever, we need people like Roger Berliner to stay on the case – working for us and making sure the new boss ain’t the same as the old boss – with apologies to Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend.
Meanwhile Ann Richard’s comments come back haunting in me in ways I didn’t dream possible – not just because I’m in the HBO documentary – but because there too was a time of political hope the likes of which I haven’t seen since Ann.
Mind you Ann was irascible, but she was also straight forward and held firm beliefs about what government could and could not do.While extremely liberal she was no socialist and while extremely stubborn, she was also the consummate politician and diplomat.
She knew how to work with people. She knew how to get things done. Like most Texans she was a rugged individualist and also like most smart Texans she didn’t suffer fools gladly.
I wonder how she’d deal with Pepco?
Probably not so well, but it would be refreshing to add her voice to Berliners as he struggles to keep after those who steal our money while providing little service in return.
This brings me back to Rockville once again.
The gorgeous slice of Americana that is Rockville is eroding before our eyes and there is no doubt who is to blame and why.While it is easy enough to point fingers at the city management staff, or the city council it is really up to the people in Rockville to move off their collective hindquarters in order to affect change.
I cannot fathom and do not agree with those who say the system in Rockville is broken. It is not broken nor has it ever been broken. There are problems, but to quote another famous, or infamous, politician there is nothing wrong with Rockville which cannot be fixed by what is right in Rockville.
It is certainly true there are some very intelligent people living within the Rockville city limits. Judging by the turnout at the polls on election day there are very few of them voting, but they do exist.
They need to be more involved. That is ultimately the only solution that will permanently cleanup the problems in Rockville. Ann Richard’s election in 1990 in Texas sent a very clear signal and the changes Richard’s made reverberate today. It was an informed, active electorate which facilitated the change.
Too bad Ann isn’t around today. But there’s got to be someone like her in Rockville and the sooner that person gets involved the better.