Strange Things Are Happening

Is it a full moon? Or, because it's almost Halloween.

Because strange things are indeed happening. Which, in my business, come to think of it, may be a common occurrence.

Strangest, recently, was the arrival of a gentleman to my office, who declared that all of my problems, and all of the legislature's problems, were to be blamed on "invisible rebel angels." He didn't, however, tell me how I would know when they arrive (the wag I live with suggested I look for tiny confederate flags) or how to get rid of them.

Another man sent me a 1,200 page book on his legal problems dealing with child custody and his former spouse.

And you'd be amazed at how many people have a drink or three and then decide to call their Representative. At 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. Makes no difference to them. And, of course, they're angry when I don't answer and leave nasty-grams on the answer machine.

Other inexplicable things happen on a more regular basis.

For example, people frequently demonstrate on the front steps of the State House, expecting that Legislators will give into their demands, interests, or requests, just because we see them, in mass, at the front door.

Problem is, no legislator in their right mind uses the front steps during the day. Not even to venture out for lunch. (Advice: just like mass produced letters or post cards,this group psychology doesn't work. Just tell me one on one what you want. And why. The Why being the important part.)

A very kind gentleman I happen know, sent me a warning about rattlesnakes on Mount Tekoa, in the area recently sold to the state as a wildlife and open space preserve. I forwarded his concerns to the state officials. But, I kept his recipe for rattlesnake chili. Armadillo will do if you can't get rattlesnake.

An elderly gentleman, after a lot of pondering I presume, confided in me that he had finally figured out who I really am. "The mayor's wife!" he proclaimed, despite my protests that I was almost old enough to be the mayor's mother.

Constituent questions, problems and demands--the biggest part of any legislator's job--range from the fascinating, because there's always a new problem to solve, to ridiculous. These, I appreciate, because I can always learn something new--either about state regulations or about people and their problems.

Neighbors butchering a pig, trucks too fast in the fast lane, unemployment denied because you were fired for due cause, insurance snafus, and registry and revenue bureaucratic bumbling, not always of the bureaucrats fault by the way.

Children being adopted without parental consent, abuse reports, personal problems, mental illness, driving under the influence and lost licenses. There are no limits.

And, although I make light of invisible rebel angels, and protesters who may as well be invisible, constituent visits and phone calls and e-mails are, I repeat, the most important part of any legislator's job.

It may be the funding for schools and highways and colleges and bridges, rail trails and open space and airports...or pending legislation and stalled budget talks...elections and fundraising and ballot initiatives and tax cuts...retirement banquets and press conferences and public events...that make the news.

But, the fact remains, the bulk of our time is spent working for you. One on one. Helping you solve any state problems you may encounter. Or pointing you in the right direction when it is either a local or federal or even a non-governmental problem.

So, call, write, e-mail. Come to office hours--10 a.m. to noon on the third Thursday of each month, at the Boys and Girls Club. That's next Thursday, by the way. Just walk-in, or make an appointment for a more convenient date and time.

I work for you. My aides, Tim Cheever and Carla Moran, work for you, and they work hard to help me help you solve your problems. And most state agencies and departments want to help you as well--they have people assigned to just helping your legislators solve your problems.

My phone numbers and addresses and e-mail are listed below. There's even a contact form on my website for you to use. I try to get back to each person within a week, sooner if possible.

Do remember this. The difficult takes time; the impossible takes even longer. And, we do know that the answers we get are not always the answers you may want to hear. Don't kill the messengers.

All materials copyright 1997 - 2014