So I’m taking the first steps into the local political pool, attending my friend Tony Hiles’ first political meeting (he’s running for mayor on the Democratic ticket). Local politics is always a funny thing, and it’s usually dominated by “life-long” residents who have various connections within the community.

I have none of those.

Huntington has been my home for the past 15 years (yeah, 15 so far….) and I am still stymied by what happens in this town. It’s in the center of a couple of major crossroads, but always seems to get passed by on the map. If it’s poor planning, poor location, poor anything….well, not too many people have figured out the exact formula for how to fix the problems in Huntington.

Unfortunately we are looking at an active political year. The current mayor had a well publicized meltdown (broadcast on the local news) and a myriad of lost jobs and sinking budgets have thrown enough political chum in the water to draw everyone into the fray.

Nw, the funny thing about this roll is the amount of money that goes into these local races. The local sheriff race last year had a candidate spend well over $50k of what was their own personal money into a winning campaign. Why someone would spend that much money is beyond my reasoning. Maybe there is a lifelong dream involved, but politics don’t usually keep dreamers in roles like this for very long.

So, the cynic in me wants to know more about how our tax dollars are spent. Because the billboards, the full color pictures, the myriad of placards and stickers and t-shirts make me ask….where is this money coming from? And as these people invest tens of thousands of dollars…what return are they hoping for?

Which brings me here. Maybe I will know more in the next few weeks.