I hope that you and your family have a wonderful summer, filled with relationship building experiences and times of relaxation. As you do all the things that recharge us for the next round at work and involvement in community and political activities, let’s reflect on the 2013 municipal elections for a moment.Elections are the ultimate expression of our First Amendment protected free speech. Every citizen from every walk of life has the opportunity and responsibility to participate in the process. While "good folks" have worked hard, taken care of their families and volunteered at the church, others have been whittling away at the very things that make America great.While we believed there was no way certain things could happen in America, unbelievable laws were passed that have a horrible effect on our lives. When we were children, who would have ever imagined an America where Christian expression of faith, gun ownership or the responsibility of the individual were challenged? It’s time for each and every citizen to get informed and get involved. The investment in our present and future is worth the time and effort. We need all of the contributions of ALL hardworking Americans that believe in American values to make sure that America has religious, civil and physical liberties.Now, let’s look back to the 2013 municipal elections right here in Parker County. In issues involving our friends and neighbors, we just finished campaigns that involved vandalism, name calling, intimidation and fact twisting that I would call lying if I was correcting my grandchildren’s behavior. Free speech is at the very foundation of political dialogue for any and all sides. All need to be respectful while agreeing to disagree.In many cases, this election involved name calling and mud that has no place in any politics, especially in local politics. We need to hold all of the people that engage in negative campaigning accountable with a vote against their position. We do not need people leading our community or country that need to tear down their opponent rather than promoting their candidacy and values to the voters. We do not need campaigning that involves theft, graffiti, yelling obscenities at opponents, putting signs out in the right of way or putting up signs on private property without permission. People who use a bully pulpit and give out wrong information for their personal gain or glory dishonor themselves and our political process.There are campaign laws that are the first test of a candidate’s respect for the election process and the laws that govern our country. Each elected official takes an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of our country, and that oath should be more than just words before, during and after the campaign.For the next election, let’s engage in a respectful dialogue with all perspectives welcome. For all future elections, let’s campaign with honor. The political process needs to invite all to participate, not disgust potential voters which takes good folks out of the decision process. As campaigners and citizens, let’s denounce all bad behavior and let’s elect the best person to each position to represent our positions.Thank you to each of the campaign volunteers. Thank you to each of our election workers that take time out of their busy schedules to work the polls. Thank you to all who participate in campaigns and elections. Don’t let anyone or any bad behavior keep you or your neighbors out of the process. All politics is local and personal, and you are needed!