I became a member of the Conservative Party when my husband ran for a local elected position in 2007.
At the time I was a registered Republican and while I was an active voter, I had no interest in being active in local politics. It was at that time that my husband introduced me to the Conservative Party of which he had been a member for many years.
I began to research the values and principles of the party and ultimately I agreed that this party seemed to be a good fit for me. I am deeply rooted in my Christian faith, a hard worker and a strong supporter of the ideal of "less government." Everyone that I met within the party seemed very welcoming, so I changed my registered affiliation to the Conservative Party.
That was the beginning of my disappointment.
For the past few years there has been much conflict and dishonest communication within the party. There have been countless phone calls and mailings from all sides of these arguments trying to rally support for their individual interests. Throughout all of this turmoil and condescending banter within the party, few people have remained completely impartial and most have taken sides.
I expect those making decisions on my behalf to be objective and unified. If we, as a party, cannot stick together and make decisions that benefit our communities, then how can we call ourselves leaders?
I am writing this letter to rally support for the unification of the Chautauqua County Conservative Party. I encourage conservative voters to educate yourselves in all of the issues at hand and not to be manipulated by various self-interests. This ridiculous power struggle within our local party is completely counterproductive.
I know that most of the board members are aware that we are not being effective at this point, but something needs to be done in order to preserve the party. I am now reminded why I did not want to get involved in local politics and while I value what conservatives stand for, I do not believe that any of these values are being displayed within our local party.
I hope that those of you that have personal agendas will consider setting your own priorities aside for the benefit of the party. Please take into account who will be left to run our local government when you are all gone if you keep driving out the people who are trying to be objective and fair.
This has been my experience with the Conservative Party, but I suspect that the problems I encountered with this group are universally present in all of our political parties. It is not surprising that so many people are disillusioned with our political system and mistrustful of our elected government officials The system can only work properly if people are willing to work together for the greater good of the community and country.
Nicki Nearhoof lives in Silver Creek.