Saturday, March 1, 2014

"IT’S A TEAM THING" - A Guest Post from Mike Stegall

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I have been involved with sports most of my life. From playing football as a starter on the team from junior high to college and for 27 years officiating the sport. I also participated in other sports as well. The one thing you learn very quickly is this: it is not about you, it’s about the team. The team wins and loses as one. They work together as one, or they fail as one. No one is bigger than the team. This is a good life lesson for everybody. Sports are a great teacher about getting along with others later in life. When you get out of sports, you have to interact with people at work, in your neighborhood, at church, and almost everywhere you go.

That interaction helps these institutions to prosper, or fail, if you cannot make the team a cohesive unit or make it better. I have found that this is particularly true in politics.

The reason Washington is so dysfunctional is because they are not working as a team, they are working as 2 teams, one Republican, one Democrat. They have no shared purpose, other than to make sure their team wins. How’s that working out for us? Not very well at all! They have forgotten why they are there, and how they are to achieve their goals. Don’t get me wrong, even teams have arguments about what to do, but the successful teams come up with a plan that works to achieve the team goal, not just for their part of it.

I hate politics. For years now I have said I am not a politician, I am an elected official. The difference? A politician will tell everyone what they want to hear, an elected official will tell you what he thinks, and lets you decide if he is right. I have been known to tell people exactly what I think, sometimes to my detriment, but always how I think instead of lying to you. It is a lie every time a politician tells you he, or she themselves, has done a great thing for you. He or she can’t. They have to work with a team to get it done.

I think Darke County has come a long way in 4 years. We have had much success and notoriety come our way. Things are better, and you can see it. Since this is a re-election year, I would love to tell you that I did all this for you. That would be a lie. I have helped the team make us successful. Our accomplishments have come because all of our elected and appointed officials are pulling in the same direction. I am just one small part of the bigger success story that is Darke County. I am lucky, lucky to be a part of a group that understands that we work for you, and not you for us. I am part of a group that is trying their hardest to do the right things to make things better. We are fortunate because this does not happen everywhere.

I like this team. I want to remain a part of it. That is why I am running for re-election. If I were to quit now, I could say my term has been successful. I do see the potential of this group to do even more, and I want to help it achieve those goals. We can do more, and if we continue to put our small differences aside, we will be successful, and Darke County will prosper.

It’s a team thing, and I want to continue to be a starter on that team.

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