Letter: Has apathy created Landis situation?

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

The front page stories published about  “allegations of embezzlement” in Landis surprised me, but there have been some stories that have appeared previously to cause doubt. Maybe the greatest surprise was that it had taken so long for such a step.

Immediate resignations? I wonder why.

Some time ago, there was controversy about the travel expenses of town representatives at conferences in South Carolina connected to the town’s electrical system. It seemed to me to be a case of junketing.

Now, there’s the dissatisfactions with Landis’ finances, how it’s handled the budget and high fees that have led, for as yet undetermined reasons, to an investigation into possible criminal activity within the town’s administrative apparatus.

I cannot help feeling that this is due to general public indifference. It’s an indifference visible in the low voter turnout in local elections due to laziness or lack of interest. In such a case, people in power are elected by a small part of the public and either represent a minority or are free to do as they so please (until a challenge to them arises). The voters, or rather, non-voters have only themselves to blame.

This is a broader problem in America, as the impression is unavoidable that people vote their emotions and do very little thinking at elections. The confusion present also between what people say they want  (a reduced deficit) and what they will tolerate (no realistic sacrifices to achieve this). People are against abortion but not at the cost of overturning Roe vs Wade. It indicates that problems of local malfeasance have their origins in more than greed or corruption of those in power.

The mayor of Landis called “many” of the comments at a public meeting “ludicrous” rather than addressing the concern of the residents present and accused the Salisbury Post of reporting “fake news.”

This smacks of something taken from a current in American politics when faced with serious criticism.

It also adds fuel to the fire of controversy about Landis’ finances.

— Richard Nash Creel