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Saturday, July 14, 2007

You Want Something From Me, I Expect Some Things From You

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.

Your Neighbor


J. Spike said...

The names from the first public meeting was I belive (In no particular order)

Curt Around Town (Easton Bussiness Chamber member)
Lou Reiner (Easton area Landlord and resident of NJ)
Missy Corado (AFSME rep and Wilson resident)
Tom Hess (City Clerk)
Council President Sandra Volcano
My self
Mr Marley
Gary Burch (GOP for Mayor)
and two persons whom I'm not sure who they were

The other candidates for November (Panto, Werner, Ruggles and Bassil) were all on the comission.

Just notice the very very few who are not currently serving the city on council or running fr a office whom spoke. And one of those left still works for the city.

Let alone the non-city residents holding such large percentage of the tiny group that came out.

My Hats off to Tom Hess though. I think he made many good points to avoid troubles in misowrding later that could hinder the charter. And alos speaking as a proud resident so few did!

Gary good to see you care. (and glad Gary is not for a strong mayor.) Mr Panto eluded to not being big on strong mayor as well. Shook his head to my points about the dangers of a strong mayor.

I am sad that one point I made was missed by the press. Not because of my massive ego (I do sport a 7 and 7/8th hat size though) but I feel its a major concern.

If petions give the citizens the power to present resolutions and veto items. What safegaurds are in place to keep the wealtheist interest from "Buying the power" to govern Easton.

I suspect this city played host to that fear from the King some 230 years ago. And If Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and even Ralph Nader (Three of my favorite American figures in History) worked hard to fight this type of injustice. Will the residents of Easton and Charter study members do the same to insure that "We the people.." hold the power over Easton and not any self rightous ruling "king" whom could use their wealth and power to surpress the people of Easton.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within." - parts that were read aloud in Downtown easton, PA July 1776.

Oh how times and the American English language may change. But our concerns and needs remain very much the same!

J. Spike Rogan
Easton Heights
Easton, PA

Anonymous said...

Report the facts - Bertsch did not say he was against the strong mayor and neither did Panto - they both seemed to agree that they were against the Mayor serving on Council. Neither of them mentioned being against strong Mayor -- heck they are both running for it. I will say that I was disappointed that someone so interested in the city he now calls home for the last 5 years that he would run for Mayor was a no show for the whole year.

I was in the audience that night and remember Panto supporting your concern about districts.

Please just the facts!


J. Spike said...

The whole concept of strong mayor is serving on council. If your against it, then volia it is being against the postion, and the power that comes with it.

Listen to the tape another time.

The fact is there.

I am backing NO ONE for Mayor at this time.

And agian another person whom has nothing to say about a potential city laws and vetos for sale possiblity.

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