Travis Stephens is running for city director and posits this: "I'm curious to know what people expect and want to see from their local elected officials."
I expect critical thinking, clarity of judgement, and transparency of decisions and thoughts to matters pertaining to the city and community without swaying to whatever political winds may be blowing at the time.
The recent council/administration mess, and others in the past, such as Reginas leads me to believe that many officials bend into the wind of whatever vocal minority group, without regard to what is actually the right decision to make.
Why is this? In some cases, I believe that these community leaders truly believe that they are serving their constituents wishes. However, that reasoning does not hold up when examined critically.
We elect officials to do the best job they can on our behalf. It is not everyone's job, nor is it even practical for every constituent to fully understand the issues. If constituents could do that, we would have no need for a republic and the country could go straight to a pure democracy with no need for representatives. So if the elected official is properly fulfilling his responsibilities, it is likely that there will be an issue that because they are better informed, will be inclined to vote in a manner than is at odds with some of their voters. I believe that the vast majority of the time, this is because the voters do not understand the issues, and if informed and educated on the issue would likely to then agree with the representative.
However, it seems to be hard for many elected officials to take the time and energy to inform and consultant with their constituents, and instead take the easy way out and just go along with this group of constituents even they know their decision is incorrect, or not for the overall good. I suppose that sometimes this is done to preserve their office position, other times it is done out of laziness, perhaps other times it is out of ignorance – at any rate, they are not serving the people they represent, and are indeed, doing a great harm to politics in general. Pandering seems to be the country's current state, but it does not have to be this way.
So, Travis, you ask what we expect? I expect you to make correct and logical decisions and if you must make a decision that many may think is wrong, take the time to educate and inform us on why your decision is correct and just, and not simply a decision made to pander to a small vocal minority. This is a mark of a great leader.
Incidentally, I think a blog is a great way to do this. 🙂