Since I’m running for mayor, I reckon it’s probably pretty important that I give you some sort of idea as to what I want to accomplish, should I be voted in. So in this post, I’ll tell you about a few of the things I’d like to do. There are more than these, of course, but I’ve gotta start somewhere.
Please note that not only does my Standard Disclaimer apply, but also that as just one member of a council of seven, my election as mayor doesn’t guarantee that I’ll be able to get any of this stuff done; I’ve still only got one vote. Still, this is what I’m going to attempt:
Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure. Not the most exciting topic, generally, but our aging pipes, streets, sidewalks, and other physical bits of the city are going to be consuming a great deal of our local tax revenue for the foreseeable future, just to keep services at the same level they are now. As this is one of the rock-bottom basic things a city needs to provide, I’ll be prioritizing catching up with desperately needed maintenance over other uses of municipal funds.
Quarterly Town Hall Meetings. If you’ve been to a City Council meeting, you may have seen the formal and somewhat off-putting procedure used for citizens to address the Council. While some of that formality is necessary to keep things from devolving into a filibustering contest, there’s no reason we can’t also have occasional informal meetings, where citizens can get some real dialogue in with the mayor, councilors, and staff. There wouldn’t be any set agenda, so you wouldn’t be limited to comments about a specific topic. Instead, you could ask us about any topic you like.
Fiber to Every Property. Don’t get me wrong; this will be a huge, expensive investment, and it’s not something that’s going to get done in six months. However, it’s an investment that I think we’d be foolish not to make. I would go so far as to predict a noticeable uptick in local entrepreneurial activity — and a concomitant increase in employment and municipal revenue — should we manage to make this happen.
City Code Reform. Most of our ordinances are fine, but we’ve got at least a few laws on the books that are outdated, obsolete, or unconstitutional. I’d like to do a full overhaul of the code to ensure that our ordinances are both reasonable and necessary.
Volunteer Constabulary. Many forms of crime-fighting require trained, uniformed police officers, and if you want untrained volunteers to do that sort of thing, you can end up with some very bad outcomes (e.g. vigilantism). However, there are some tasks currently being done by uniformed officers that could just as easily be done by volunteers… which frees up those uniformed officers to do the stuff that we need uniformed officers to do. This can be a legal minefield, so it’s going to take a lot of work to make sure we do it right. Still, if we’re careful, we should be able to come up with a way to help our small police force be more effective, even in the absence of increased revenue.
As always, I’m happy to answer questions about these topics and any other you may want to bring up . After all, just because I haven’t mentioned a position on a given topic doesn’t mean I don’t have one, so if there’s an issue you’d like me to address, please let me know in the comments below!