A Part of the Process

By Thad Plumley

Have you met the elected officials who represent you in your state capitol? Do you have a good relationship where they even know your name? What about your representatives in Washington, D.C.?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, congratulations. You are a professional who has a say in the rules and regulations that impact groundwater and the water well industry.

If you went 0-for-three: Why? How?

Not being an active part of the process means you don’t have much room to complain when you don’t like what is coming your way. To me, participation is vital—in everything.

When my wife and I moved into our condominium more than 19 years ago, I quickly found out when the next board of directors meeting was taking place. I wanted to sit in and meet the people making decisions about the community in which I live.

At that meeting, a board member mentioned a resident had moved, creating an opening on the board. He asked if anyone wanted to step up and complete the term. My hand shot up immediately.

I’m now in my 19th year on the board and up for reelection as board president next month. Sure, I’ve grabbed a few adult beverages after a long meeting or a conversation with an upset neighbor. But I’m part of the process, so it’s worth it.

I’m part of the decision making that decides the monthly dues, the company which mows the lawns, the one which paves the driveways, etc. If I were sitting at home, never attending the board meetings, could I really argue about the cost of the dues or if I thought the landscaping was poorly done?

The National Ground Water Association and the Water Quality Association are hosting a Fly-In in Washington, D.C. the first week of May, which means more than 100 water professionals will descend on the nation’s capital to talk water policies with Senators, House of Representative members, and their staffs.

Tell the story of your company and explain how you provide life-sustaining water in your community.

After a day of educational presentations, the attendees will head to Capitol Hill to talk to their elected officials and educate them about the importance of understanding the water industry and smart water policies.

If you didn’t participate this year, please consider doing so in the future. And do the same thing closer to home. Get to know who is representing you in your state.

I know you’re busy but take the time to reach out and set up a meeting. Then tell the story of your company and explain how you provide life-sustaining water in your community.

Encourage your representative to reach out to you when there are issues pertaining to water rules and regulations and leave your contact information. Work to become their water expert.

You’ll become a part of the process and that’s a position you always want to be in.

Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and the director of publications for the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at tplumley@ngwa.org, or (800) 551-7379, ext. 1594.


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