Saturday, July 21, 2012

Are We Obsolete?

To hold a public meeting we must post an announcement of the meeting on the outside door of City Hall 24 hours before the meeting is to take place. Why, and does this make sense anymore?

What if we said, to hold a public meeting we must post an announcement on that door AND the person calling the meeting, e.g. the chairman, must publish the agenda online or in a local paper (or preferably both), including a brief description of how any matters coming up for a vote, in that particular meeting, might affect the citizens?

And (let's just go crazy here) what if we video taped the meetings and made them available online or on public access or at the library (or all of the above)? Then one could watch the meeting when they have time, if they are so inclined. Ken Hughes looked into this when he first took office and found the price tag too high. I wonder what the public thinks?

Just sayin ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who is Responsible?

We are so busy - we have more to do to keep up and make ends meet than ever before. Most people have fallen into the habit of either not voting or else voting without knowing who or what they are voting for. They then feel like they've done their government/political homework and they can move on to more important things.

This works pretty well, locally and nationally, when not much is going on. When there are big problems though and we aren't paying attention - then we probably aren't going to be happy with the results.

So, who's minding the political store for us? Do we need citizen watchdog groups? Can we get more citizens involved in the political process? The clergy is unhappy when people just show up on Easter Sunday. We elected officials are unhappy when people just show up for the annual education budget.

In Derby we're reeling from the tax and sewer usage increases this year. What happened? Did the system of local government fail us? Or were we just not paying attention?

It would be great if we could start a dialogue about this.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Fairy Failures

We all have unreasonable expectations at times about certain things and we seem to believe that our needs will be magically met. It's as if we believe in fairies and we hope that they'll show up in the cover of night and fix our problems.

One of my favorites is the Diet Coke Fairy: just drink diet coke with whatever you eat and you will somehow stay slim. Failure.

One of my least favorites is the Whining Fairy: don't take any reasonable action, just whine and hope someone will accommodate you. Failure.

We also have a Valley Fairy: we don't have to be responsible for our shortcomings because ... we live in the Valley. Failure.

One very dangerous character is the Right-Fighter Fairy: I don't have to contribute to a solution, or ever go with the flow. I just have to always be right. Failure.

The scariest fairy of all, to me, is the Someone Else will Pay Fairy: Are you broke? Get the City to pay for it. Is the City broke? Get the State to pay for it. Is the State broke? Get the Feds to pay for it. Somehow the Fairy will fill these institutions' pockets with money to solve our problems. Nevermind that the money is coming from us all the time. Big Failure.

So be careful next time you wish on a star - your dreams may not come true.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Choices We Make

Today is our 12th anniversary, Tony and I. What a great choice I made! I think a truly outstanding partner has to always have one's back, be loyal to a fault, and be one's cheerleader for life. I am truly blessed to have found these qualities, and so much more, in this man that I adore.

And what, you might ask, does this have to do with local government? Ha, everything. It's the choices we make, you know.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Our Honor

I was taught, as a child, to honor my parents, my country and my country's flag. I've found others to honor along life's way - but only those that were deserving of that respect.

I believe that Tony Staffieri, our Mayor, the hardworking leader of our community, is deserving of our respect and I think that those who dishonored him with their insinuations that he was lying about the Domurad affair - or worse, that he had forged documents - owe him an apology.

I have tried to keep quiet during this legal process because I believed that the courts needed to sort it out. There may be a cost to the City for this but I ask you, what price should one put on honor?

If Derby is to move forward and become stronger it must take more care in how it treats those who are trying to make Derby better. This is the way we can honor Derby.