Sunday, October 25, 2009

KNOW YOUR LEADERS THEIR SERVICE

It’s time we take a good look at our leaders and measure how they have represented the citizens during their terms of service.

At first glance, not all things they have promised or have done, will become apparent, it may take a little time to remember the highlights as well as the lowlights of their actions and decisions.

Politicians who shout the need for one more term, are always very hopeful, that citizens will have a very short memory, and will only be thinking of the current issues. Current issues are usually those items, that have been left until a few months or weeks before an election, in which the politician makes a decision to support or oppose, not based on facts or needs, but rather on how many votes may come their way.
They are not only the worst kind of leaders, but are very dangerous to the moral fiber of a community.
Citizens must always remember, that support or opposition shortly before an election, on issues that should have been decided some time back, are attempts at trying to deceive the voters. History has shown, that after an election, things go back to what they were, and flimsy excuses are presented for the obvious vacillations.

Measuring the effectiveness of local leaders is an easy process, if you support the Jeffersonian idea, “government governs best, that governs least” and the words of Senator Daniel Webster, that citizens need to constantly review the actions and words of their current leaders.

There are many ways, that citizens can measure the effectiveness of their leaders. Regardless of the method, a citizen should be careful and unafraid to look, listen and then compare what was said to what was done.
Observe that promises of the past are usually identical to the ones being made today in speeches, materials and other writings.
Touted accomplishments since their last election or appointment, need to be carefully reviewed, since many times, like promises, they can and usually are stretches of the truth.

Every citizen today should ask questions of every leader and especially those running for re-election. The following ideas may help.

Is there a belief and support for total transparency?

Is the law followed and enforced?

Is every meeting given proper notice so the public can attend?
Are citizens allowed to speak? Are they accorded respect for their opinions? Are they given attention by leaders while they have the floor at any given meeting or hearing?

Is there a demonstration by measurable action of fiscal responsibility?

Is there support shown by known actions of real accountability?

Is there evidence of a total support for the truth regardless of the outcome?

The needs of citizens must trump the personal desires of elected and appointed leaders. If leaders or those that have been appointed, have no idea concerning the difference between wants and needs, have no problem misdirecting or using misspeak to support their questionably decisions, then citizens need to remember and cast their votes for changes in direction and more respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TRUST AND CONFIDENCE BETRAYED

Every once in a while, citizens engage themselves in some serious observation of policy and actions on the part of their leaders. The following recital of an event a few days ago confirms my suspicion, that citizens are seeing the big picture and are not as easily deceived as some may think.

The other day at lunch, an older member of our community expressed some concern with the events that had transpired over the last few years.
He felt betrayed and deceived over the promises of new jobs, retail establishments and increases in revenue for Heber City so they did not need to threaten a tax increase.
The conversation led him to exclaim, the confidence he should have in elected leaders was gone and with that demise of confidence, he also lost the trust he once had. It was obvious he felt real betrayal.
When asked to give an accounting of his feelings, he told all gathered at the table the following:

As a supporter for Big Box in the community, he had voted for the ordinance that would allow such a thing to happen. He said he believed what he was told, what he was showed. He attended the meetings, he received his mailers and wanted to believe everything that was mentioned.
Now he is wondering where is the 350 jobs that were promised? Where is housing that was promised? Where are the stores that had been promised. He reminded us all that citizens were promised a Red Lobster, Olive Garden and so forth. The promise was a Super Center Wal-Mart with a garden center, a tire shop and a whole lot more. He was wondering where are the stores that Boyer in the meetings said they had signed up and claimed would be coming? He noticed that Sears was now on the list, but according to ads in the local paper, Sears is not signed up yet, because they are looking for someone to come in and start a small Sears store and try and compete with Wal-Mart.
The larger question for our friend seemed to be, really what is going on and why is it that information seems to be coming from Boyer only and then repeated by Heber City as if it is totally factual? He though it could be a stretch, to suggest that Heber City really knows what is going on and if they had any inkling at all, if Wal-Mart was coming or not.
The point was made with a question: “Was Heber City government deceived by Boyer like the rest of the citizens or did Heber City really know what was going on from day one and decided their role was to aid and abet this fraud for some kind of purpose that citizens may never know?”

He went on to mention his deep concern for what has been framed as hangar gate. He believes this issue was so similar to the Wal-Mart deal. Things done with out facts, without due diligence. No one paying attention to the issues. Total lack of fact finding on what could be and might be. And now it is being hinted by the Taxpayers Association, that moving money from one area or one account to another may have violated state law and to comply with the law, such action required a public hearing which was never held or noticed.
It seems to him, the more people look into the business dealings of the current administration, the more it looks like no one is in control of the situations and it is every man or person for themselves.

The discussion led him to make the case, that now, he felt he could not trust the current administration. And regardless of what they said, there was no way he could ever have confidence in their ability to lead, serve or even protect any citizen including himself.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

FEARFUL OF TRUTH AND ACCOUNTABILITY

What is going on, when elected and appointed representatives, will not avail themselves the opportunity to discuss in an open forum, the issues that citizens are facing and answering the important questions.

Is there something that needs to be hidden from the electorate? Has the current leaders done or said something, that if it becomes public, would cause embarrassment or bring the administration further into derision?

Reasonable people are finding the present action by incumbents running for office and those they have appointed, very disturbing. There seems to be a concerted effort to stay out of the public eye and not participate in any meeting, unless it is staged or leaders are in control of the subject matter or the agenda.

Some of the media outlets, both locally and those in surrounding areas, find it very curious, incumbents from Heber Valley have refused to participate in any public forum.
As one commentator in another community said. “Have things deteriorated so much, those in leadership positions, can not respond?”
It would seem by their actions, they are afraid that citizens may ask for an accounting of what they have or have not done in the last fours years.

It is becoming obvious, certain leaders are hard pressed to discuss the business of the City, since they have no idea, what the business may really be. The current administration seems to have given their authority to others, believing that by doing so, they will not have to be leaders, but instead, can be followers without much accountability.

Citizens are now discussing the issues of accountability, leadership, planning, taxes, fees and growth. Important issues that affect every person in Heber Valley. Now citizens wonder why there is no discussion no interaction, with those they elected in the past.

It is becoming increasingly clear, that citizens need to rise up, and make sure the election in November is not one of being against anyone, but for a change that will allow them to be heard and have their ideas considered and used in finding solutions. For a change in the direction of Heber City. For a complete accounting of the money that has been frittered away. For transparency in decision making. For control of out of control traffic. For more business on Main Street and Less deals with developers that produce nothing but wild unfulfilled promises. For less taxes and fees, and more freedom with ones property. For less intrusion from government in the lives of citizens. For competence. For better planning. For observance of the laws and codes. For more ethics and honor.

The issues that citizens are facing, are not complex but unless the voters place in office, those with principles of integrity and a desire to support community needs, rather than the wants of a selected few, lives will not be enhanced, but citizens will remain as pawns, whose only importance will be to provide the money to continue the same self-serving kingdom building, that is currently going on.