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Mossman sets good example

Today, we say “thank you” to a now former politician who kept his campaign promise to leave after 10 years of dedicated service to Denton County.

Monday was officially Steve Mossman’s last day as the Denton County tax assessor/collector — a position he first won in 2002, filling a vacancy left by current County Judge Mary Horn. His successor, Michelle French, was sworn into office shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday on New Year’s Day.

As we pour through the myriad details of the ongoing fiscal cliff discussions seeping through the holiday cheer, an outcry has arisen from the populace asking those elected to office to stand by their promises — regardless of party affiliation.

Instead, even though a partial plan is winding its way through Congress, the overwhelming feeling among many Americans seems to be discouragement and disgust at the lengths to which politics has played a role in getting something — anything — accomplished.

We’re not here to assign any blame, though there is plenty to go around. It just seems appropriate to pay tribute to someone who took on official responsibilities a decade ago, did his utmost to improve an already well-operated system and to stand by his original promise to walk away, leaving the office ready to go for the next in line.

It is a refreshing sentiment, especially at times such as these.

For months, we’ve been bombarded with points and counterpoints, bilateral finger pointing and even the occasional name calling. Similar antics are oft seen on the playground at recess among the very young as they learn the art of negotiating and what to and not to do. It is not fitting behavior for adults who should know better.

The ultimate goal of any office holder — whether in a community or in Washington, D.C. — should be to give his or her utmost toimprove constituents’ lives and make every effort to uphold promises made to those who put them in office.

Though we understand the challenges that must hound our national representatives as they look for solutions to an ever-increasing problem, we still feel compelled to ask for quicker solutions in a more timely manner — complete with finesse and, frankly, adult attitudes. And, to be fair, not all of our nationally elected representatives have jumped into the tumultuous fray with childlike glee, casting aspersions every which way.

We should note that as a former pastor for 25 years, Mossman had a wealth of experience in dealing with individuals and entities. Handling crises with compassion and finesse is endemic to successful ministering.

Perhaps, as he settles into this brand new year, we could gently prod Mossman into considering consulting work on a national level, say in Congress. Or, at the very least, pen a handy guide in how to keep campaign promises.