It's easy to understand the frustration of Martin County commissioners who this week approved creating a full-time emergency manager position. The county is under pressure from the federal government to do so.
Three commissioners voted to create the job, with two voting no. Even those who supported the idea were not thrilled, but thought it better to do so. There is grant money available to help pay the person's salary. And having a full-time director - as opposed to a part-time one - means the county will remain eligible for other grants related to emergency management.
On the other hand, all the commissioners know that Martin County has gotten along just fine for many years taking care of itself, in its own way. And there is always the issue of just how much managing is necessary when major disasters are rare - extremely rare - events. One commissioner pointed this out, wondering how much time and money must be spent planning for every worst-case scenario.
Every so often, mandates from on high become so questionable or ridiculous that our local government officials actually contemplate ignoring them and suffering the consequences, financial or otherwise. In the end, though, cities, counties and schools are left with little choice.
We, the people, however have the power to do more. We must convince friends and neighbors that overreaching, overriding government is a disaster in and of itself. We don't need all these stupid regulations imposed on us. We need to question candidates for state and federal office about what they are going to do to make government less intrusive. Or it will never stop.