Morris, like so many other smaller towns, has been governed by the same old faces for as long as I can remember. I suppose that that is largely due to the fact that people are satisfied with what they have and needn't bother getting up off their chairs to run for office themselves.
In some ways it goes along the lines of "if it ain't broke don't fix it."
But one thing is certain, communities like Morris have grown (at least before the housing bubble burst). Never the less, these towns are bigger and are all in need of much more than they once were. Old ideas and ways of doing them just don’t cut it anymore. Keeping an eye on Morris’ future becomes critical and that requires a certain discipline.
Now some will disagree with what I have to say next but all I ask is that you hear me out. I am not certain if longtime career politicians are always the answer for municipalities looking to expand their horizons. What they need are people who bring a different skill set and vision. In short, I think having political novices can be a positive thing.
For one, they view government from a different perspective. Taxpayers, it seems, have a better idea of what government waste and cronyism is as opposed to those who have been in those positions for any particular length of time. Career or longtime politicians eventually become more interested in maintaining their status quo than looking at the needs of a community.
Thus a fresh set of eyes and an open mind can become more of a positive than a negative.
And that's the opportunity Morris has in their upcoming Mayoral Election with John T. Brooks. Brooks is the face of so many in these surrounding communities. He came to Morris to settle down after serving in the U.S. Army and immediately integrated into the community while working in nearby Marseilles. However, the military called upon him to serve as a reservist (and a return to active duty) after the events of 9-11 changed the landscape of America forever. But despite the military demands, John Brooks still managed to earn a Masters of Science in Administration Degree in addition to preparing future military personnel for active duty. Click here for his full bio.
All in all, John T. Brooks has been given more than his fair share of responsibility. However, that responsibility also gave him some very tangible experience. Brooks possesses a can do attitude yet isn't inclined to make snap decisions. He understands the big picture and knows how to balance the needs of many versus the few.
So, even though Mr. Brooks doesn't possess political experience he certainly understands the political process. Especially based on his military duties (and that I know from my own experience).
I believe that John Brooks' aspiration to lead Morris into the future is more than doable. It isn't as if he doesn't understand what it would take to prepare Morris either and the town could benefit greatly. Besides, John T. Brooks is in Morris for the long run and wants to bring a new level of transparency and impartiality to its local government. Plus, his ability to work with others will be a positive attribute in a city government that has stagnated.
I know many people who live in Morris and there is sense that the time has come to dispense with the old ways of doing things in favor of a new vision. And they believe that John T. Brooks is an outstanding choice to begin his political career as mayor of Morris.