Your service for and in behalf of the citizens of this valley is deeply appreciated. Your sacrifice of time and energy in behalf of others sometimes seems to be a thankless job, but your accomplishment in doing your best, allows the citizens of this valley to find a place they can be proud of.
In the last little while there has been a few issues, that citizens would appreciate your review and where necessary to have you make some necessary corrections.
There is a serious need to increase transparency in government. Not only in the results, but in the agendas. It is hard to understand what you are going to be discussing and what decisions you may be making when the agenda has reference to only a number or a single set of letters. Adding a small paragraph to each item would allow everyone to obtain a better picture as to why they should attend and participate. It is known the agenda and it’s posting is a State requirement but that is only the minimum requirements, so perhaps, it is now time to have more than a minimum expression. The effort of making the agendas more instructional, could be the means of getting more citizens to participate.
In a community as small as ours, there is always going to be some minor conflicts of interest. But in the last little while, the conflicts of interest have grown tremendously and have become so obvious that citizens are wondering if this is just a sign of greater problems. A statement has been made that unless money has changed hands, there is really no conflict at all. But the courts in the past have seen things differently. There has been some severe conflicts of interest, where those participating have openly used their position to increase their holdings, influences, and their businesses.
As you know, when people, the citizens, see these conflicts, it leads them to believe a lot more is going on and that perhaps, some of those involved are obtaining rewards similar to those found in the movies.
Your work in reducing the conflicts of interest, by not allowing those with obvious ones from serving or at the very least, making decisions, would be an important step in restoring confidence in the system of government and those who serve within that frame work.
The citizens you serve are struggling. There are many who have lost their incomes through downsizing or company closings. They are pressed to pay an increasing tax burden. Many are retired, widows or widowers or with severe health problems who want to do right, but are finding the appetites of those they have elected to use their tax dollars wisely is expanding under the mistaken idea, that it is the services the people want. But history has shown it is not always what citizens want, but what elected leaders want.
Local governments must find ways to reduce wants, to become more efficient. In the good times government seems to grow but when times get tough, government wants to continue down the same path, believing that tax increases will allow them to continue on with no restrictions.
There is a need for governments in this valley, to find ways to reduce. Increasing taxes and fees at this time, should not be part of the plan.
Citizens need you do with less just like they must in these uncertain times.
There is a real need for increasing our local businesses. Governments know that business pays the bills not housing. In the last few years, more attention has been spent in promoting and facilitating development of homes. Everyone knows that homes do not pay the bills and never have. Later on, taxpayers are usually called upon to pay for things that were either overlooked or forgotten about.
Many have created and supported ponzi schemes when it comes to homes. They take from one developer and shell out the costs for another and then recover with the third. We have now reached the end. And the sins of the past regarding housing have caught up with government. This down turn is a perfect time to work on existing business and finding ways to bring into our valley new ones.
Citizens need your help in making their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness a reality. There has been problems that have required all to change their lives and live within their means. They have cut back. Done without and made do with what they have. They have done their part.
As leaders, everyone wants you to take control and do your part. Citizens want you to become more participatory in their government by the sheer fact they voted for you. They are tired of the appointed ones impacting their lives, but without recourse. They want you to be responsible for the actions of government and not allow others to speak for you.
They want to do more with you rather than against you. They want to be your partner.
Take control. Find ways to reduce your budgets without thinking about the pockets of citizens. Clean out the conflicts of interest. Allow the light of day to be part of your decision making. Give a blueprint of what they can expect by providing more information on the agendas. Relieve the regulatory requirements on business. Not health and safety requirements, but those other ones that place unnecessary burdens and outlandish intrusions which force business in many cases not to grow.
Citizens are waiting for you to take control.