Following is a commentary which Pamala Englert posted on Facebook. It is well worth reading and considering. [posted here without consultation with the original author].
“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more ‘manhood’ to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.” ~Alex Karras
It is not uncommon for me to be unable to sleep when something is heavy on my mind. I am most uncomfortable when it is something I consider very wrong, and perhaps that may seem as signs of insecurity to some. In this case, and once again, my feelings are political in nature. I learned earlier this evening that our State Senator, Steve Urquhart, met with three of four city council candidates for the City of St. George to discuss ambulance services issues within our community and attend an open house at Gold Cross Ambulance Services. Those three candidates were Joe Bowcutt, Tara Dunn and Ed Baca.
I do not know why the `fourth candidate, Michele Randall – the very person Senator Urquhart accepted money to drive out of business in our community; also resulting in the loss of an additional 50+ jobs in our community, was not present. I cannot just assume she was not invited. The fact that Steve Urquhart is at all discussing and representing this issue astounds me. It should be concerning to any of his constituents.
Was it not enough for him to drive a company which existed for over three decades out of business within our community? Was it not enough that for self-serving reasons, he was responsible to force many people with families to feed, to stand in the unemployment line, very uncertain and worried for their futures? Do others not see what is so very wrong about this? Doesn’t the fact that our State Senator is apparently still representing Gold Cross Ambulance Services concern others? It should, and for many important reasons.
As a state level politician who accepted private campaign donations and served as paid legal counsel to Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance, my question is – why do people turn away from this obvious conflict of interest? Why do people seem to turn away when questions appear on the surface to have no answers or when homework or discovering truth and facts seems too hard?
I wasn’t at today’s “meet and greet,” but I pray that any one of these three candidates stood strongly enough to ask the questions that need to be asked, without being intimidated by Senator Urquhart’s standard bullying tactics or usual superficial “glossing over” of facts to make his (paying) client look good.
Using the definition of conflict of interest provided by the Center for Applied Ethics, “a public servant must always put the common good ahead of any personal, financial, or political benefit they might receive.” It appears obvious this is but one more example that ethics do not seem to matter.
I am just one of several people in our community blocked from responding directly to Senator Urquhart, so my feelings and thoughts must be documented elsewhere. It seems obvious to me that people who do not succumb to his bullying tactics and dare stand up to speak truth and reveal facts, do not stay in his favor long. He first attempts to “bring them into line.” When that fails, he bullies them. If they continue to stand firmly for their principles, he blocks them from either viewing or responding to his hypocritical words and actions. He’s been known to also use his political connections to create harm for those who do make a choice to stand for their own principles over his disingenuous words and harmful actions.
I have so many questions. I know the position of at least one city council candidate who personally stated to me their feelings about the ambulance services issue long ago. I was dismayed that the same person was worried to stand firmly on principle, more concerned about not negatively impacting their own chances for being elected. It was one of those statements…”if I say to much about how I really feel, I’ll be risking my own potential to be elected.” It is why I withdrew what I thought would one day be my staunch support for this candidate. I have a great deal of difficulty in supporting a person who seeks a political office only to “grandstand” and seek out ways to disingenuously stand beside an elected official they personally “dislike,” and with whom they strongly disagree – well, at least behind their back. Now they do what they feel is necessary to “rub shoulders” with those they feel may best suit their own personal political ambitions. I am sickened by this behavior. I am dismayed that so many in our community will dismiss their beliefs and principals to stay in favor of any elected official who continually chooses to harm our community in order to serve their own interests, not the interests of those who elect them.
At the local level where we can make a difference; where our voices may be the strongest, we should never choose not to use them to speak out. If using my own voice to speak truth and reveal facts about anything important would mean my life would consist of having no friends, I’ll gladly accept that. At least I could continue looking in the mirror to like the reflection of who I am inside.
Tomorrow I will begin seeking answers to my questions and I will continue finding ways to make it known to others that they are once again being manipulated. It’s not hard to wonder how much is being paid to Senator Urquhart by Gold Cross Ambulance, to serve as a tour guide for Michael Moffitt to those who seek to be elected to our city council, and defend the negligent actions of this state-sanctioned monopoly in our community; actions which were very irresponsible and wrong; actions which are still being swept under a rug in our own community, all for the sake of profit and greed.
I forgive, but I will not forget – not until I feel as truth is known by more people who care. I’m very grateful there are others working towards uncovering truth – people who will be heard and who can and will make a difference.