Monday, November 2, 2009
Critical Vote On Tuesday
Southport, as most residents will tell you, has been run by a small but influential group that feels general public input is both annoying and unnecessary. Their decisions have been in the best interests of someone, but not the citizens of Southport. The result has been too much secrecy, too much money being spent on the wrong things, and far too much arrogance on the part of the ruling class.
I'm confident that will change after tomorrow's vote is in. Things did improve 2 years ago when a mayor and 3 aldermen replaced longstanding incumbents. Unfortunately, since 3 other longstanding incumbents were still on the board (and one of the new members joined that group) the result was a board so divided that very little could be accomplished. If this election can bring in 2 free thinking, open minded individuals to the board I believe they will be able to work with the existing members to create a body that will be able to discuss issues openly and make decisions that are in alignment with the desires of our citizens. If this does not take place, it will be business as usual.
As I've emphasized many times we do not need 6 board members and a mayor who all agree on everything. We need creative thinkers who are willing to listen to the public, fellow aldermen, city staff and any other advisors the city may designate. Once the listening is done they must discuss all potential decisions in a free and open format wherein each alderman and the mayor can express his/her ideas without being ridiculed, personally attacked or dismissed. It may take longer than the old way of doing things but the result will be the best possible decision that can be made given the information at that time. If more information is needed, the board must show patience so that no stone is left unturned.
I hope this all makes sense, because it sure isn't how things have been done in Southport up to this point. Please know as much as you possibly can about the candidates before you vote, be absolutely sure they do not have a hidden agenda, and go to the polls with the confidence that you've made the best choice. By Wednesday morning we'll know whether there's hope for the city government of Southport.