The demand for politicians is very high, and the role isn’t right for everyone, according to Roman Diamond from Baldwinsville, NY. He served as a school board member at age 18—the second-youngest to ever win an election in Syracuse. He then became a Councilman on the town board at age 21 and was re-elected at age 24. His recent comments offer insights into why being a public servant is challenging and rewarding for the right candidate.
“If you find it difficult to work for a boss, try working for thousands,” Roman Diamond of Baldwinsville, NY says. “It’s a highly demanding field that requires you to stay on top of the local pulse. You need to know what people want and then consider what they truly need. You can’t be swayed by the pressure, but you also can’t ignore public opinion. It can be a very difficult line to walk.”
There are many people who recognize public officials after they are elected. Roman Diamond says people are watching to see how you put public interests first and how you live your life. Because elected officials hold a greater amount of power, people expect them to do the right thing. Even small issues can turn into snowball stories that get out of hand.
Diamond says most politicians don’t make very much in entry-level positions. The council member’s salary was well under $10,000 per year when he first got on the Lysander board in 2013. Typically members are either retired or have another job on top of their council member role. Diamond notes that it can create a very demanding schedule.
Being a politician/statesman is really a lifestyle and calling more than a job. Roman Diamond says that Baldwinsville, NY is his community and home, so serving on the Lysander board felt like a way to give back. He says politicians have to realize they are doing much more than a job. “Your decisions impact people’s lives,” he says. “You can’t take that lightly. And that means you really have to see it as a lot more than a job. You are building up the community with your work.”
When public servants are sworn into the position, they promise to serve with honesty, impartiality and objectivity. Diamond says the choices made have to be carefully made without ulterior motives. Only those who are able to act with integrity should be in positions of power, he notes. Fair and transparent governance is a crucial part of being a true public servant. Those driven by greed or hungry for power do damage when they hold office.