They say that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Vigilance is not enough, people have to act on the information as well. One of the initiatives scheduled for the next ballot in Iron River is the elimination of "conflict of interest" from the Iron River city charter.
The change was introduced by Al Perlongo and approved by the city council in a meeting on August 15, 2012. He cast the deciding vote. His membership on the council, while concurrently being fire chief, was specifically prohibited by state laws and the very charter restriction he voted to eliminate. Perlongo was in violation of charter and laws but he felt he had a higher calling that was more important and, just like Richard Nixon, he put his personal interests first. He should not benefit from this violation of state law and the charter. Why did the state have to get involved before Perlongo could be persuaded to resign?
Where was our local political leadership on this?
I have once again written to the Michigan Attorney General and the county prosecutor, this time asking that the ballot initiative be removed before the election. As the time is very short, I urge all Iron River taxpayers and voters to write, or call, the prosecutor and the attorney general.
Fredrick Hayek, in his landmark book The Road To Serfdom, writes that man is free who must obey only the law, not other men. Hayek's proposition is mostly true. Does the proposed amendment to the city charter impinge on your freedoms? Yes, by allowing an individual's personal interests to control while overriding law. At the same time it places us ever more firmly on the road to serfdom, a road we really don't want to be on.