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Lessons From 2017 – Twists and Turns of Political Fortunes

At a time when Hubris seems to be the guiding force in the political world at all levels (local, county, state, country), people are tired of the status quo, and fighting for change and new ideas.  Donald Trump, a man with few qualifications for the role, became the 45th President of the United States on January 20, elected by a powerful plurality (in just enough states) who are tired of politicians who sell their soul to get into office.     He is so far from the typical politician it seems inevitable now that he would get elected!    Pride and egos of the political parties enabled him to defy the odds and win.

More locally, here in Putnam County, Sheriff Don Smith was deposed by a democrat in a very “red” county. This was a surprise, but it makes sense. Our sheriff had taken advantage of his position of power, made some poor choices and the people are just sick of perceived corruption. In Carmel a local business owner with no party backing won a seat on the town board with a campaign slogan of. “Change is Needed”. Though that was all that was needed, Mike Barile has been an advocate for our town for years and he campaigned hard.  The Town Board has been “business as usual”, overspending and under performing in a time where – Mike is right – change is needed.

Doing things for self-serving agendas or “that’s how its always been done” is no longer acceptable.  The “silence breakers” has been one of the most amazing movements of our time and one that I am so grateful for.  Perhaps no longer will people misuse positions of power to fulfill their sick egos and fantasies.  This movement really opened my eyes to who I am and what are my standards, and what we as a people will not stand for.

There are many other powerful lessons in the year 2017, but the biggest one is always to be grateful for one’s family and friends.  Here’s to a great and prosperous New Year!

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, “A business advocacy group”

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