It is impossible to know all the issues that will be faced by a councilmember over their four year term. For this reason, it is very important to cast your vote based on understanding how that person works and what principles he/she will use in making decisions for you.
Principle #1 THE PUBLIC PROCESS
Principle #1 THE PUBLIC PROCESS
I have deep appreciation for our inspired system of government. The public process is the backbone of this system. There is power in each individual voice, especially at the local level. This is why I love and will always work at the local level. My greatest interest has always been to encourage input from the voice of the people from the early stages of the process. I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for encouraging increased involvement and never-ending efforts towards clear communication.
To this end, I have done the following:
- proposed and written a regular “government 101” feature for the city newsletter
- neighborhood outreach (fliers passed and open houses in my home) when I have been asked to be a voice for the people on a committee or board
- hosted regular cottage meetings in my home on different issues and candidates
- supported increased noticing efforts
- supported legislation that encourages public comment to be submitted before meetings in writing so it can be included as part of our written packets and considered, along with material from staff, before the public meeting is held (still allowing spoken public hearing comments, of course)
- encouraged and used social media outreach to easily reach more people
Principle #2 The Importance of PROACTIVE PLANNING
"The only constant is change."
Change will happen. Guaranteed. It can either happen TO us, without our say, or it can happen FOR us, because we have clearly thought out what we want Centerville to be and planned for that result.
Great cities don't just happen, they are PLANNED that way. Entropy (lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder) is a law of the universe. It takes an enormous input of focused positive energy to fight entropy and bring order to the universe instead. This is the work I love to do for Centerville City.
Communicating with each other about why we love Centerville and what we desire FOR Centerville starts the process of proactive planning and action. This is how we set goals--deciding what to work toward. In contrast, when we only talk about what we don't want to see happen, we are leaving a void that WILL be filled, possibly with something we like less than that which we fight against. If you hear someone talking about what they DON'T want for Centerville, be sure to ask the follow up question of what they would put in its place.
We all have concerns, and I want to hear yours. Addressing concerns is an important part of planning. In addition, the more I know what you are FOR, the better I can apply my planning skills and positive, collaborative approach to doing the work it takes to see that vision through to the desired end result. This process takes years of commitment. I have been and will continue to be here FOR Centerville for the long haul.
Principle #3 The Principle of OPPORTUNITY COST
This is an economics principle that applies to all of life. Economics is all about making choices, and to make good choices, we must compare the benefit of something to its cost. Another term for this idea is "pros and cons". Most decisions involve several alternatives. Each alternative has a list of pros and cons. In making decisions, it is very important to spend the time to be thoughtful, analytical, and research-based; weighing this list of pros and cons for each situation.
Considering the truth of this principle, I suggest being wary of those who make decisions based on simple "right answers"/sound bites, emotion, familiarity/comfort, or preconceived notions about how things ought to be simply because they have always been that way. Ask questions beyond the "sound bite" and make sure you hear an answer that is thoughtful and researched.
I find another interesting idea encompassed in this principle. If there is usually not one right answer to each question, we don't need to talk about any one issue as if its outcome is going to save or destroy our city. This then allows us to work less combatively with each other. We can listen respectfully to our fellow citizens different takes on an issue. And then, including what we've heard from others' viewpoints, we can weigh it out in our own minds. When we approach our city's issues in too simplistic a way, we may prematurely close doors to possible opportunities. Additionally, it is important to recognize that not all opportunity costs are immediate, and we must look into the future for the long-term effects of each decision.
The matter at hand at election time is finding those who will take the time to carefully weigh that opportunity cost equation for each piece of business that comes to their desk. Those who work with me will attest to the fact that this is the way I work.