How does that old song go? “Another season… another reason… for makin’ whoopee!” Well, you’ve surely noticed it’s election time again. There may not be much whoopee-making, but there certainly is enough talk about it. So much so, it makes one wish for the election to be over just to end the incessant round-the-clock political analysis. The question then is: what can I write in this last column before the election that hasn’t been heard or seen before?
At the recent Meet-the-Candidates forum, I remarked that during a trip last year, my thought process had dried up and I was faced with a tomorrow-morning deadline for turning in my column. The writing well had seemingly run dry and thinking of that made me wonder why I couldn’t be more clever. That, in turn, led me to write the column about searching for a way in which to be clever and ending with the idea of settling for common sense… perhaps even forming a “Common Sense Party.” Though perhaps not all-inclusive, by its very nature, it would be broad-minded enough to be deemed ecumenical. The party platform would be short… all things proposed in the governance of the body would be judged by their common sense. Party loyalists would include people of all political and perhaps even religious, persuasions. Utopia! At last I have found thee!
The problem with all this is that when it comes to how to govern things, not all people share quite the same idea of what constitutes common sense. People have a belief about what should be done and congregate with those who share the same idea…as in “birds of a feather flock together.” This is where elections come in. Forthright candidates for office will reveal their own ideas or beliefs and citizens then vote accordingly. Utopia this is not… but it is the best system we have.
At the afore-mentioned forum at Old City Hall, all candidates, myself included, were given an opportunity to speak and explain why we wanted to run for office and how we viewed our role once in office. The meeting was well-moderated and civil and informative, leaving the audience with some sense of where everyone stood. Speaking for myself, these past two years have been, more or less, an open book.
When I began this journey, this mayor literally jumped from the burning pan into the fire. The resignation of both city administrator and the mayor, within a few weeks of one another, left the City with no one with experience at the helm. In retrospect, this problem was overcome in surprisingly short order.
Since then, we have tried to be judicious in the many tasks facing us in City Hall. This infers a certain degree of professionalism in how we operate. And this brings me to a superb example of professionalism: The recent Cemetery Players re-enactment during Meet the Pioneers was outstanding and can only be described as completely professional in its presentation. The extraordinary efforts of all the volunteers who came together to create the event deserve all the credit. Their endeavor proved that not only do we have many valuable volunteers, but we also have many talented people. This leads me to my final point.
As your Mayor, I will seek to form something new… a Mayor’s Advisory Committee. This committee will be comprised of highly successful people i.e., leaders, in their various fields… be it finance, retailing, manufacturing, the arts, social services, etc. With their outreach in the community and beyond, they can be of enormous value in bringing us fresh perspectives. How valuable such guidance can be to our city as we move further into the 21st Century!
Now there’s a reason for “makin’ whoopee.”