When watching the first meeting of our new city council last night, I couldn’t help but think back to the last four years and what has happened to and in our city over that time. The fact is, I shouldn’t. Mostly because it frustrates me. A lot has happened. A lot has changed. A lot didn’t happen. When i think back to the start of the last term of council I was reminded that they too had a lot to deal with. But it was different then.
So last night I watched the first meeting of the new council with an open mind and thinking ahead instead of behind. What’s the big challenge for this new term of council? What will they be dealing with? How will this council lead us into a new direction. We all have different answers to those questions, and probably could add a dozen more. But if you’re a home or business owner in our community you probably at one point or another thought about how a new city council will help you. What will happen with our taxes? What new development or change will we see with businesses and opportunities here?
We’re starting all over again. This term of council will have new challenges. Our new Mayor Bill Mauro has his work cut out for him. He started his term as mayor last night with what I thought was a powerful message at times. He made it pretty clear – this new council has a huge responsibility. The budget season is about to begin and there will be some challenges. One of the best points he made….. Sometimes we will have to say no. Unlike previous terms of council, most notably the previous term, handing out money came easy especially to those that wanted to be re-elected. They were very generous. Despite suggestions from administration (the experts) and fiscally responsible Councillors, like Rebecca Johnson to not be so willing to hand out money to non budgeted items and programs, to stay out of the reserves and to not be afraid to say no, they handed it out anyway. Mayor Mauro’s message last night was spot on. Sometimes we have to say no. Sometimes we have to make tough choices, but we have to do things for the right reason and reevaluate our priorities. His message should be on the cover of the budget package council will receive in the new year.
I wish the new council the best in this upcoming term. At the same time, we should remind them that the microscope is on, the magnifying glass is big, and there are a lot of us paying attention.
Choose wisely, be leaders and make decisions that are best for us your constituents, and not about you and your personal agenda.
You’ve got some big decisions to make. Makes us proud, move us forward. If we can all be on the same page for the next four years, you’ll have a part in making our city better.
Just my two cents….