It is extremely disheartening to open up the newspaper or listen to local radio every morning, and discover a whole new set of problems that have to be dealt with. I used to have full faith in our government officials, but I am beginning to wonder whether the people we elect are up to the task of finding solutions to a new era of challenges.
It took a story, several letters to the editor, more than a few website comments, and solutions from the community in order for our safety director to discover where all the sandbags were hiding. If you are a new administration, and you know there is a history of flooding in the city, and you just went through this a year ago...wouldn't you know where sandbags are, or at a minimum, HOW TO GET THEM!?!
Instead of playing the blame game, just admit that you weren't prepared and you messed up. It is funny how there was 'no money' to purchase any, but after the city was lambasted by the public, a requisition was set for exactly this purpose? I respect people who learn from their mistakes and make things better...but stop trying to spin everything in your favor and blame others (including the 'bloggers') for your woes.
The State of the City? I have no idea. Bad? It is extremely difficult for me to get away from the office in order to go to The Elks for a meeting, so I have to rely on local media for what happened. But why? Where is the text/audio/video of the speech? I have searched our city website, and do not see the first mention of it.
Come to think of it, where is video of the city council meetings? At least they are televised; it's not that difficult to create a video file that someone can at least download to view at a later time. Someone could follow the example of the county commissioners and put their minutespresentations nothing online.
But I digress - where was I? Oh yes...people in over their head...
I am sure that the mayor, city directors and county commissioners are all great people who have the best of intentions and want to do what is right. It just seems, however, that there has been no substantial action taken by these administrators (or council) over the past year. When the mayor was elected, what were the two biggest issues...and how are things being taken care of now...
Flooding? Another group led by Tony Iriti has taken the point on this.
Downtown improvement? Businesses decided to do this on their own and formed an organization.
Economic problems the concern? That's easy - eliminate the out-of-town tax credit and float the idea of raising the city income tax. The county commissioners are not immune from this disease. Forget to bill someone? Blame it on others. Have a tax levy coming up? Scare voters by saying explain that services are going to have to be cut by 1520 25 percent. Even the President, whose rode into office on a wave of optimism and hope, has some wondering whether he has what it takes.
The solution? Oh my, I don't know...who am I to suggest anything?
If I could offer a humble opinion, however, there is one point I would like to suggest:
Do not leave it up to local media to get your point across, and do not think that a presentation at the monthly Republican luncheon is adequate. You have a telephone...you have a website...you have the availability to use the community access channel on TV...you have all the technology in the world at your disposal to put information out there, so why aren't you doing this?
Where are the minutes from all the meetings? Where are all the committee reports? Annual reports...budget information...resource allocation...where is everything at that the community can review to see that resources are down and we need a new tax levy?
Where is a blog with the latest on the flooding information? Where is the web-cam with a live look at the Blanchard? Where is the interactive map showing areas flooded and streets closed?
I understand that local media has quite a bit of information online, but they are not a part of our government. They can be a resource at our disposal, but they are not the source of the information that we need. There are quite a few individuals in the community who can advise you on what is available and how to do it. You need some assistance getting things up and running? Just ask. We're waiting.