Local government is a miracle

© Can Stock Photo/Herried

As we head into the Fourth of July holiday, I would like to thank all my readers who are involved in local government. Whether you are serving on a city or county council, a school board, a utility district, an arts commission, a library board, or as staff, you are doing quiet work that is essential to our society.

My late husband Lew and I spent years in the third world. We saw how inadequate many governments are in the face of their residents’ deep ordinary human needs. I spent years studying the USSR. I saw how badly a top-down economic system and a political order lacking genuine freedom fail their citizens.

This is a time when our government is challenged at the national and the state level. But at the local level, hundreds of thousands of ordinary folks are keeping things chugging along, and improving them as they go, with dedication and integrity.

We have 1831 local governments in Washington State and 89,004 in the U.S. as a whole. That’s a lot of folks giving their time, care and attention to keeping the schools running, the water flowing, and the lights on. On the anniversary of our independence, I salute you!

Ann G. Macfarlane
Professional Registered Parliamentarian

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.


  1. Elaine LaTourelle on July 4, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Ann, as usual, a thoughtful observation during a time so many are dissolutioned. The media does not readily cover all those you mentioned who are keeping it – and us – together!

    • Ann Macfarlane on July 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Elaine, so glad to read this lovely comment! I appreciate it very much. It’s good for us to turn away from the sensationalism sometimes and look to the ordinary. Thanks!