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Letter to the Editor: We must hold elected leaders to higher standard

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To the Editor:

Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Leadership. Trustworthiness.

All of these words have been used to describe people in leadership as well as legislative processes. 

The issue right now in Tennessee is that all of these characteristics have flown out the window with those at the highest levels of the Tennessee House of Representatives. 

For the past 22 years, my wife and I have been proud to call Tennessee home. We’ve raised our family here. Our children have been educated in quality public schools here. Our daughter is about to graduate from high school and continue her educational journey at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. We are highly invested in our community, our community of faith and our state.

But currently, as a resident of Tennessee House District 63, I am embarrassed. 

I am embarrassed by the behavior of my representative, current Speaker of the House Glen Casada. I am not going to go into the well-publicized details. If you haven’t read or seen the reports, Google him. As a Christian, I believe that we are all broken people who need redemption. I will do my part and pray for Representative Casada. 

However, I believe that when one puts on the role of leadership, you should be held to the highest standard of accountability. I will continue to watch and see how Rep. Casada is held accountable for his conduct. I am encouraged by the calls of other legislative leaders for him to resign as speaker. At the same time, however, they have the power to make that decision for him. 

We are all watching for that to happen. 

The people of District 63 will have the power to decide whether to allow him to continue as a state leader representing us. 

What’s alarming, though, is that his behavior as a leader is not something new that suddenly appeared once he rose to the speaker position. He has served in the same way throughout his time in the House but yet he continues to be elected. The investigation that is now underway should be an indication of a more significant and more profound issue. It is an issue that goes deeper to character, deeper to self-awareness, deeper to a lack of accountability. 

Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Leadership. Trustworthiness.

Yes, these are the characteristics that we should expect of the people who represent us. Yes, these are the characteristics that we should expect of the government that directs the pathway for our society. These are characteristics that we should expect of our entire state legislature.

We must expect more. The people of Tennessee deserve it.

(1) comment

Jim East

Sir, have you considered running ?

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