Sometimes Voters, Event Representatives, Have to Say No

By Deborah Aylward

There are times when public officials, representatives, and voters just have to say no, such as, when a proposal is not sound, reasonable, or affordable. They must be firm in their convictions for the common good, and base their decisions not on personalities or popularity but instead on the use of good judgment to advance public policy based on sound principles and values.

When I was asked to make a motion to ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate) HB 1001 (relative to property tax exemptions for Mason Lodges and Mason Associations)  that was introduced by Sherman Packard, Speaker of the House, I agreed to do so because the proposal would cause a loss of property tax revenue and an increase to taxpayers. Without knowing the consensus of the other 19 members of the committee, as a freshman lawmaker, it felt as if falling into the abyss — because what if all the other members voted against my motion and I was left standing alone and in a position adverse to one of the most powerful political figures/personalities in the state? 

To my relief, the measure passed 19 – 1, in overwhelming favor of ITL. Standing firm in one’s convictions can be hard to do — but it is always the right thing to do.