The major lesson I have learned in my first two years in local politics

So it has been almost two years since I began my time on the Shepherdstown Planning Commission and Town Council. I can sum up the lessons I have learned in one small saying. "Those who show up run things." So if you do not like what is going on in your community or with our government and you truly care... Show up.

I am amazed at the power of the residents in town who take the time to attend meetings and voice their concern or opinion or even email the commissioners and council men and women. Their opinion is the only feedback the governing body receives other then that of their vocal neighbors who drop by to provide their opinion. One of the major pieces I see as broken in government and why I feel our system is broken is that people most of the time only show up when they are in opposition to an issue. This is why government is so slow. Anytime we as a society want to move forward with improvement and need a public hearing only those who are against it show up.

Lately I have been talking to my fellow residents and putting the bug in their ear that they need to participate. We need your opinion. We need Americans as a whole to get involved especially when they support something. Yes you blast your opinion and your perspective on social media but that is not enough.

Get involved and show up. Show up at your town meetings. Show up at your county meetings. Write your Representatives if you support something (this morning I wrote every government person that represents us in WV about our parking issue.) Vote or run for office. Volunteer!

I can honestly tell you from my time as a town councilman that it truly does make a difference especially at the local level. And we all know the local level is where change begins.


Brand I am most loyal to

So today the discussion question in my class was what Brand are you most loyal to.

The Brand I have been most loyal to is of course Apple. I have not spent a dollar on another brand of computers since my first apple 14 years ago. I believe Apple still has pride in its products and I have not found a product that they work hard to make their products “User Friendly.” Here is the way I feel Apple demonstrates this to me:

Logo – They have a very clean simple logo that is one color and usually found in white or black maybe with a slight gradient. It is not very detailed but it doesn’t require its logotype to identify it.

Packaging- Even their packaging is easy to use. I am sure you all have dealt with gifts that require blow torches and machetes to open. Once you open those gifts the parts go everywhere and then comes to fun part… trying to figure out how to put that thing together. If you ever had the opportunity to open an apple product you will know that it is fun. The boxes slide open easily. The products pull out easily and are presented as if they are in a jewelry box.

The Product – Apple products look great! Hands down they are some of the best looking products in the market. Their products might not be the biggest or smallest (some cases they are) But they do it right. They do not feel cheap, they have great plastics and use metal when need be. The iphone 4 is all glass and feels like something from the future. The new imac looks like a monitor but the whole computer is built in. The apple mouse is touch enabled without using track balls or rollers that collect dust.

The Advertising – Simple ads where someone explains why you should get a mac in a clear and concise way to clearly define the product advantage. The music ads use cutting edge music that any song they use in an ad sky rockets in sales.

The user interface – whether it is their website or itunes. Apple makes it very easy to buy products from them.

All around Apple has great designers involved in every aspect of their business. Not only that but they are constantly evolving their designs for the better.

The product line I have no loyalty to at all is chewing gum. I am not even tied to a certain flavor. I just grab a pack that looks good at that moment and chew away. There are some brands which I will not buy again due to lack of taste but for the most part I like change when it comes to gum. I like new packaging ideas. I like new flavors. I really don’t care who makes it. It is gum. :)