Thursday, September 20, 2007

Candidate Article, Clarion County Commissioner

Michael J. Robertson

Libertarian Party Candidate for

Clarion County Commissioner

Michael J. “Mik” Robertson is pleased to announce his nomination as the Libertarian Party candidate for Clarion County Commissioner. Mr. Robertson was born in Pittsburgh in 1964 and was raised in southern Allegheny County. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1982 then attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in geology.

In 1991 he joined the Business/Environment program of the United States Peace Corps, working for two years in Wigry National Park in northeastern Poland. In that time, he performed evaluations of surface water bodies in the park and sought funding sources to conduct baseline environmental studies to determine cleanup standards for industrially polluted areas of Poland. It was during this time that Mr. Robertson was able to observe firsthand the devastating effects an authoritarian form of government can have environmentally, economically and socially.

Mr. Robertson and his wife Margaret moved to their current residence in Licking Township in January 1999. The couple currently operates a farm specializing in certified naturally grown produce with their daughter Claire, age two. Mr. Robertson also works as a geologist with an environmental consulting firm. For the past seven years Mr. Robertson has served as chairman of the Licking Township Board of Supervisors, and also serves on the executive boards of the Clarion County Association of Township Officials and Clarion County Sewage Association.

Mr. Robertson believes that his candidacy for county commissioner will offer a clear choice for Clarion County voters, and looks forward to discussing issues with Clarion County residents. As a Libertarian, he believes in the importance of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and small government, with an emphasis on local control. Local control is important because that is the way individual voters can have the most impact on the government. This is something that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party seems to want.

From a Libertarian perspective, Mr. Robertson believes the primary function of government is to secure the rights of the individual. There must be a fair set of laws that do not favor certain interests to the detriment of others. There must be a justice system that can prosecute those who use force or fraud to violate individual rights or unduly place others in harm’s way. It is not the role of government to forcibly take money or property from individuals to give to other private entities or promote special business interests.

What is needed in Clarion County is local government that operates efficiently, effectively, and coordinates efforts of the county, boroughs and townships. County government must be open to residents and businesses, with a clear open records policy. The county needs efficient methods to record property changes and share information with municipalities. The county must have broad and general subdivision and land development regulations that respect the rights of property owners and can be readily modified by municipalities to meet specific local needs.

The county government must utilize the resources available to remove impediments to local business development and allow local communities to determine their own futures. This cannot be done through additional regulation, but by working with other agencies and institutions in the area to create opportunities that foster free enterprise and promote a sense of community. In this way, the quality of life in Clarion County can improve for generations to come.

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