Some very important issues have been, and are being, hashed out at various city public meetings this summer.
The City’s work is NEVER done, nor is the people’s.
Question #1: If an Eastonian is running for City Councilperson is it reasonable to expect them to (at a minimum) show up at City Council meetings?
I believe “yes”.
Question #2: Is it necessary for a candidate to engage in dialogue on City issues and to advocate for potential constituents?
I think “certainly”.
Question #3: Should we expect the Mayor and Council members to be at very important public meetings?
I say “absolutely”.
Actually, I am of the mind that candidates should be at EVERY important public meeting, and they should be participants. I am not saying that I think a single candidate should be at every public forum. I am saying that there should be candidates at all of the meetings, and each individual candidate should strive to be at as many important public meetings as possible. And the one’s that do attend should participate.
Let’s analyze this in parts. As a candidate for the City Council of the City of Easton you would like me to cast a ballot for you in the November general election. When I cast a ballot for you I expect that you will represent me, and meet the minimum requirement of attending City Council meetings. How can I, in good faith, trust you to fulfill your basic duties if you do not make a satisfactory effort to do so during your campaign?
If you are not around to gain firsthand accounts of the issues and their disposition why should I wait for you to catch up in January?
If you are not dedicated enough or capable of (for whatever reasons) being at important City meetings then, to me, you are unelectable. And if you are banking on voters not knowing that you are not engaged; you are a fraud, and we all need to question your motives for seeking public office.
OK, I am done with the no shows—on to the silent representation.
I intend to vote for advocates. Meaning I expect my candidates to be actively engaged on my behalf. I will cast my votes based on the way you deal with the City’s issues. It angers me to see smart, articulate citizens withhold their offerings in the name of campaigning. I say start building your record now. Aren’t your neighbors worth it?
In the case of those to whom our trust has been placed, we have a reasonable right to expect you to be where the action is. It is your burden to work for us. And I understand it is not an easy one; but it is, in fact, the one you asked us to bestow upon you.
I was very disappointed to see only one City Council member, and not one member of the administration, present at the two most important Home Rule Charter Commission meetings on July 12th and 14th. These were the meetings where citizens could impact the final disposition of the charter proposal. It was equally disheartening that the four City Council candidates not on the commission failed to participate even by written correspondence in a City issue of such a great magnitude. (Mayoral candidate Gary Bertsch did attend and participate)
The Mayor and City Council members need to be at Charter Commission meetings. After all, the Mayor and Council unanimously endorsed, presented, and voted to place the commission on the ballot in May of 2006.
The final 3 Home Rule Charter Commission meetings are on July 23rd, 24th, and 26th. Written comments are also currently being accepted.