GC students need to be informed
Recently Milledgeville City Councilman Phillip Joiner, The Union Recorder uncovered, was using his city-issued credit card to cover purchases that seemed like they weren’t for city-related affairs. Upperclassmen will recall Phillip Joiner campaigning on our campus and asking students to register to vote in Milledgeville to ensure his being elected.
Elected officials exploiting taxpayers’ dollars is nothing new. But Joiner’s constituents, those students convinced to register to vote for him, deserve to know. And although he wrote an apology letter to The Union Recorder, where do GC students come in?
Joiner was a proponent of allowing more than four students to live in a house together and fought against the legislature that tried to ban it. He has been active in uniting the community and the campus through holiday festivities, Milledgeville Idol and cooperating with the Student Government Association.
But Joiner’s raucous behavior tends to get in the way of his appearance of a councilman with the community’s best interest in mind. And this is a shame. He is gregarious and has helped Milledgeville grow, but he is also someone students helped to elect, and he should be embodying that. Lately it has been evident Joiner hasn’t had this goal in mind.
This brings the role of both the city and the student to the forefront. Up until a month ago, the city had no policy with councilmen, allowing them to behave as they wished, without consequences. The addition of a code of ethics to the city’s policy demands a more conscious attitude from officials.
But as students who cycle in and out college here, how is it possible to advocate better policies and consistent procedures?
Registering to vote in Milledgeville would be the ideal thing to do, but this may not be the option for everyone. And even if a student is registered, it is does not mean they will show up to cast a vote.
Local politics can sometimes be a stalemate. As the city council said they had been working on implementing a code of ethics for several years, but there shouldn’t have been a pile up of unruly behavior for it to come into effect.
Joiner said his card was to be used as he saw fit, but once all of the charges on his card were uncovered, he paid them back in full.
For the remainder of his term in office, less than two years, Joiner should maintain the profile of a councilman invested in his city.
Being knowledgeable about everything from politics to shootings and sex offenders are things GC students should be aware of, and not only when they fall into our campus’ perimeter.