My current term on Gahanna City Council will expire Dec 31. I will have completed my 10th year on council and have decided it's time to retire from local politics when my term ends.

My current term on Gahanna City Council will expire Dec 31. I will have completed my 10th year on council and have decided it's time to retire from local politics when my term ends.

During my time on council, I have been guided by two principles:

1.) The main purpose of government is to protect my rights through its police power and 2.) The other purpose of government at the local level is to provide city services like water, sewer, parks, etc.

I would like to endorse a candidate for Ward I who would take my place who believes in the same guiding principles. If you're out there, please give me a call.

Over the last 10 years, I have let these two principles determine how I would vote on issues that came before council. In addition, I have tried to uphold my oath to the Ohio Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the City Charter.

Before a city can spend money, council has to vote on a city ordinance authorizing the expenditure. In order to uphold my oath to the U.S. Constitution, I have had to vote no on buying three police cruisers with "drug money" taken in a drug raid. Why? Because the federal "war on drugs" is a totally unconstitutional policy.

I had to vote no on a "safe sidewalks to schools" grant and other federal grants. Why? Because there is no authority in the Constitution's Article I, sec 8, the enumerated powers of Congress, which grants the federal government the right to give money to cities.

If Americans want to get back their Constitution all they have to do is look each month at how many money spending ordinances are being voted on by local politicians and see which ordinances violate Article I, section 8. Then hold those politicians accountable to the oath they took to uphold the Constitution.

Difficult to do? Yes. But Americans can't have it both ways. You either have a federal government limited by the Constitution or one, like we have now, which reaches into every aspect of our lives at the local level.

The Constitution is about protecting freedom by limiting the power of a central federal government. Do you love freedom? Every time the federal government takes money from you through taxation and distributes it to others or spends it in a way it sees fit, you lose more of your freedom.

Alexis de Tocqueville said, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." These bribes come right down to the local level in the form of "federal spending programs." It's time to stop taking the bribes and start holding local politicians accountable to the oath they swore to uphold to the Constitution of the United States.

I have tried to point the way during my time on council and have written about it at LocalPoliticians.net, but ultimately it's up to "We the People," i.e., you, to make it happen.

John McAlister is ward 1 representative on Gahanna City Council. E-mail him at john.mcalister@gahanna.gov.