Monday, August 29, 2022

My Key Issues in 2022

When I talk to people in Clayton about running for re-election, I've found people to be very supportive. They share their experience living in Clayton, how they feel about their city government, and what they'd like to see in the future.  I ran for office in 2018 because I felt the Council didn't listen to the residents of this city.  After serving for four years, I have done my best to listen and represent the interests of the people of Clayton.  Even though at times I have been in the minority and not been successful in persuading my fellow Councilmembers, I felt it important to state my position and ensure that point of view was represented on this Council.

So why am I running for re-election and what do I want to do as a member of the Council? I still feel that I can make a difference.  My priorities haven't changed all that much, though they have been refined:

Public Safety – Nothing is more important and I’m grateful that we live in a town that is able to enjoy our parks and trails, have kids able to walk and play, and have a community that comes together to support one another.  I’m proud to have lead efforts to bolster traffic and pedestrian safety around our schools – negotiating for an additional crossing guard at the elementary school and updating the crosswalk and interactive traffic signals outside the middle school – both at the request of the schools themselves.  I’m proud to support our police and the fine work they do and I will continue to support them even through the fiscal challenges the city faces.

Quality of life – We all came to Clayton for different reasons, but high among the list is the great qualify of life that is afforded to us.  This means maintaining property values, keeping our schools desirable, and maintain the wonderful amenities available like our trails and parks.  As we face financial challenges, we need to prioritize the things that add the most value, be more efficient with our resources, and really assess what is important to focus on and what is not.  There are many areas that we can make changes to in order to preserve the great quality of life we all enjoy, while being more responsible with the resources we have.

Fiscal Sustainability – Deficit spending should be reserved for extraordinary times.  As a city we need to live within our means.  Before any tax increase is considered, the city should do everything in its power to reduce expenses and increase efficiencies – raising taxes should be an absolute last resort.  Properly prioritizing means using the limited resources of the city in the most efficient and effective way possible. There are many areas that we can make changes to in order to preserve the great quality of life we all enjoy, while being more responsible with the resources we have.

Transparency in Government – People should understand why their representatives vote the way they do.  Unfortunately the city has become less transparent over the past four years – the minutes for meetings do not convey the rationale for what actually happened, and most members of the Council only rarely publicly share their views on why they took certain actions. Instead, people are forced to watch hours long videos in order to hear the thoughts of their representatives. That is why communication is such a key part of my campaign. With today’s technology, those who are charged with governance should meet the people where they are, and provide as many means for communication as possible. I have and will continue to commit to providing summaries and commentary for every meeting and significant action this council takes. It is critical for an engaged community to be able to understand what is happening, ask questions, and expect answers.

Every action of the council should support one of those priorities and if elected these will be my focus.