May 2014 Newsletter From Brian

May 2014 Newsletter From Brian

Here I go again…………

Hi All,

I always struggle with this Newsletter, but really feel the need to let you know the things I am doing as your elected official.

I have really worked hard to be as transparent and do my job with fairness and conservative values. I thoroughly enjoy working for and representing you as we try to move forward in a positive and effective direction for the citizens of Johnson County.

I have chosen to take the responsibility of the everyday functions of the county business and also handle the construction and maintenance projects for the county.

There is much to do in maintaining the buildings and property we taxpayers own as county property and management of the construction of the Shooting Range, 911 Consolidated Dispatch Center, Johnson County Offices East Annex, and the New Superior Court System.

The Shooting Range will be finished as soon as the weather breaks and we can final grade and seed it. The 911 Center is under full bore construction, but 3 weeks behind schedule due to the weather issues we have experienced. But, at least, we are only 3 weeks behind. It could be much worse, but the Construction Manager and contractors have “weathered the storm” and accomplished more than expected. Unless we have more bad weather or other delays, the 911 Center will be complete in time to beat the deadline. The East Annex Offices should be complete by June 15, 2014, to move the offices into there from the North Courthouse Annex so we can start the new Court System construction. We have started the bidding process for the North Courthouse Annex and should start construction in June. All of which must be complete by the end of the year. Whew! Now I am worn out.

I also deal with many other things such as all building maintenance, remodel, and repairs, the county fleet of vehicles, insurance, employee handbook committee, several Boards, and many other areas that have to be dealt with daily.

I hope I can always be an asset to you and all 143,000 plus citizens who expect me to do the job.

But as always, I must expound on one other item that has been on my mind lately.

The Pledge of Allegiance. We recite this at every Commissioner’s meeting. It has become a habit of sorts, but it has significant meaning and impact on my life every time I think about it.

I am always the one to lead the Pledge at every meeting, it is my responsibility as Chairman. So in doing this I never know what goes on in the audience. The Pledge is also done at the County Council meeting, which I attend to keep up on issues for them also. They also recite the Pledge, so I decided since I had already been through it previously 3 hours earlier that I would stay out in the hall and people watch for this occasion. I noticed people talking to each other, others not being involved, others saying it while looking at many things other than our flag, and some trying to recite the Pledge, but not really knowing the words contained in it. Some were really sincere and I could tell that they were truly meaningful in their desire to respect and love our country. That being said, I thought I would give my account of what I feel the Pledge of Allegiance means to me in my heart and my life.

There are those of faith who would say that we should not Pledge our Allegiance to anything but God. I believe that with all my heart, but I guess I recite this in a different spirit than some, so I will explain my heart in this Pledge. Many people and groups have come to their own conclusions so I will be in an elite group such as, Red Skelton and the Boy Scouts of America.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I – Me, an individual of sound mind and body, knowing what it is that I do and say and what I believe to be self-evident and true. This is my heart and my mind involved in this, and no one else can be the
individual creation that I am.

Pledge – “A solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something.” I promise my heart, my mind, my finances, my all that I am in this world. My faith to do all that I can to make real those things in which I believe.

Allegiance –“loyalty, as of a subject to his sovereign or of a citizen to his country:” loyalty of a person from deep within, align with the subject of allegiance.

To the Flag – Our symbol of who we are, where we have been, and where we want to be or go. Old Glory, that symbol of our unification of all to one regard and that we hold true.

Of the United States of America – All those divisions of individuality that have aligned together to become one people of one standard for the good of all, not to give up our individuality, but to conclude and maintain that all is as one in like mind and faith.

And to the Republic – a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
-a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.

“a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : -a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government.”

For which it stands – The Flag of the United States of America. A Republic from conception and basis for our being here. Freedom from those who would oppress us. “Old Glory”. The representation of our United States.

One Nation – A United Nation of 50 States. A nation that was intended to be self-contained without outside influence for our sovereignty, our economy, or our defense. We were to be our own Nation uninfluenced by those outside of our borders. Politically independent.

Under God – “Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.” – President George Washington April 30th, 1789”
“Under God” was added to the Pledge in 1954. A great addition in my opinion since this Republic was founded under the belief in God and the desire to serve that God freely.

It is hard to top that one. I will add my personal belief and faith to this in my pledge. We should not pledge our allegiance to anyone or anything but the Creator and Holy God, who not only was the Creator of all things but the Redeemer of those who will accept the gift of God. So for me to pledge to this United States of America, it has to be under God. If God is not in the heart of this country and the freedom of my belief is not prominent, then this is not the nation that was founded so long ago. I will only pledge my allegiance to that which is of God. God grants me His Grace and He grants this country His Grace and Mercy. When we go against His dominion over us and this nation, we put ourselves in a position of detriment of His blessings and will suffer the consequence. We will not survive without His Grace and Mercy. I will continue to pray that God will not lift His Hand off of this nation in hope of that prayer being answered for my family, your families, and all those who do not know or understand the importance and requirement of that pledge of my life to Him and this country.

I will also maintain that we have the freedom and right to serve and worship our God in the way that we, through our belief and faith, know is right for us as individuals. This nation has no right to choose that for me or for you. Those who we choose to govern have no right or privilege to regulate that on to us or for us. That is our right and freedom granted by God, the Creator of all things.

Indivisible – Not to be divided or split into parts. I call this “being of one mind”. This has not been maintained, as the States seem to be in disarray. We have gotten away from the basis and ideal of what the merging of the states was truly meant to be. But we must as individuals and as states maintain the true focus and foresight of those who founded this country and the ideal of what was believed to be the direction we were to maintain and stay within.

With liberty – the quality or state of being free within specified moral and ethical limits. Freedom to make choices, but those choices must not harm or damage others. This liberty was based on Biblical principles and most of our laws that were put into place to insure that we would not have to live in a chaotic state were from those principles. Liberty without morals is not liberty but evil. Liberty without moral restraint is not freedom at all, it is restrictive and dangerous. We have the freedom to make right and good choices.

And justice – “Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness.” Wikipedia. Again, our laws of justice were based and founded upon those of God in His Word. We have gotten so far away from this that we now really do not have justice as it was based. We do not have fairness to those who violate our liberty and ability to live our lives without fear and oppression. There is a consequence for every decision we make, good or bad. This will be maintained in the end and there will be consequence sometime for all the choices and decisions we make. There is fairness (justice) that should be applied to all in a degree that will award those who have done well and punish those who have done harm, unkindness, or unfairness to others as based in that right morality, ethics, rationality, natural law, and equity. If this is not maintained, we will enter a state of chaos. This state will not be acceptable under God.

For all – for every person, in whatever state they are in, in whatever time in life they are in.

This is my perspective of what the Pledge of Allegiance means to me. Since I am the one writing this Newsletter, that is the perspective I must write. It is what it means to me, in my heart. I do not expect it to be your heart nor do I wish to push my heart onto you. If nothing else, I hope I have spawned a desire in whoever reads this to search and know in your heart what it means to you.

As always, I will continue do my utmost to serve and protect you and all those you love and care about in Johnson County.

I will try to update you in the next few months on where we have been and where we are going.

Until then, may God bless you and keep you in the safety of His Hands.

If you pray, please keep me in your prayers that I may always do what is right in the sight of God and that He will protect and bless me as I serve you.

In Your Service,
Brian

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