By Elsa Maxey
Just the other day, I heard that someone’s work position had reached its expiration date. In this case, it was being suggested that the person needed to step down from a particular job because of his long-term tenure in that role. It had nothing to do with his accomplishments or even age.
Is it possible that careers have hidden expiration dates or should they have them?
For the political office holders, term limits may be what determines the finale or expiration date. But there are also elected office holders who keep their positions because they have been unopposed, keep getting re-elected and are not restricted by term limits, along the lines of the longest-serving mayor in the U.S., Stafford City Mayor Leonard Scarcella, who died in June at age 79. He was opposed a couple of times, but never defeated during his 50-year tenure.
Then, there are elected office holders who may need work expiration dates imposed on them. First of all, because they were probably not that interested in the position sought and ended up elected by default. Those surprise wins have taken place in Fort Bend County. And, a win is a win.
For those warm bodies in office, we probably need to have a recalibrated Fitbit fitness product strapped on them. The original gadget measures activity, exercise, food and other things. A recalibrated one could be invented to measure levels for making headway on public issues and concerns related to the business of the office. And, we would then review performance. This is wishful thinking, of course.
But in Fort Bend we also have current office holders that don’t have specific “best by” dates when it comes to functioning in their public offices. These are people who are able to set aside partisan issues and dedicate themselves to making a difference in public service.
Some of these will be up for re-election in Fort Bend soon. What we need to do is evaluate each of the incumbent’s competence and the person’s ability to understand and perform in accordance with the complexities of the elected office whose job is performed on our behalf.
Service above self … that’s what Scarcella did. For him, his career did not have an expiration date. I rather like to think he has a mirror representation of the City of Stafford where he is now.