If you don’t like something, change it

This amazing little town that I adore so much has gone through a lot lately.  While I understand that frustrations have run high over the past few months, we should see this as a lesson learned and head in a positive direction.

What might that lesson be?  Simply put, we need more people to “show up”.

- Show up to city council and planning commission meetings and become educate on what is going on in our community.  There is no way to truly know what the issues are if we do not listen to the discussion.

- Show up and voice your concerns and constructive criticism.  We might not always support the decisions made by our local elected officials, but they have no way knowing unless we show up and let them know.

- Show up and see how difficult it is to represent your community.  Serving your community can be quite rewarding, but it can also be demanding, frustrating and in watching how some citizens have treated our government officials lately, it can also be insulting.  We need to remember this is a small community and we are all neighbors.

- Show up and bring something to the table.  We need to leave the accusations and finger pointing behind and bring some ideas to the table.  In order for something positive to happen, we need to bring forward some positive solutions.

While I am disappointed in the results of the election, I am hopeful that at least we may have sparked interest in some residents to get involved in our community.

For those of you who have taken the time to get involved as an interested citizen, as a home rule charter commission candidate, a community board member, a planning commissioner or city council member, I thank you and applaud you for stepping up to the challenge.

I want to close with some words from Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”  Each one of us has the opportunity to help improve our current situation.  Whether we choose to rise up to the challenge or sit on the sidelines and complain is completely up to us.

Lisa Malde

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.

5 Responses to “If you don’t like something, change it”

  1. Billy Carlisle

    Thank you for your thoughts and for staying in the dialog. I know you wanted Home Rule, and I think there are still many ways to improve the way our city is organized without going to home rule. Here is a list of random ideas worth debating and considering. Most would require ballot initiatives and that is not as complex as you might think. 1) Form an election commission. There are plenty of blueprints for that in the statutes under which Salida governs itself (state statutes include models for this). An election commission would be a balanced body that reflects various groups but which is not accountable to the council or administration. An election commission composed of community volunteers could run elections cheaply and with a minimum of controversy. 2) Why not have a ballot initiative that limits the ways in which the city can sell or acquire property. 3) There is no reason in the world why the city should not hold public hearings on water rates. The outcome should not be pre-determined but the effect of the higher rates on the poor and seniors should and could be addressed. 4) What is going to happen with the pool. I am shuddering as I think of the cost of the upgrade idea that seems to be bubbling to the surface. I am half way expecting an initiative in that area that does not take into accountthe views of the citizens. 5) The council is recently talking about transparency and I welcome that. I have, however, found that some decisions and actions by council will slip by if you are not vigilent. The annexation effort on milk run trail and the ballot ordinance to put Home Rule on the ballot are two recent examples. Both of these seemed to be thrown together in haste.
    I think all the issues listed above can be addressed by citizens are examples of things that I think should be debated in an open and public way.
    I would enjoy hearing your list.
    Billy

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  2. Merrell Bergin

    Well said, Lisa. I look forward to continuing the process when the time is right and contributing to the City however I can.

    Most of all, I look forward to a return to cooperation, consensus and civility.

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  3. Billy Carlisle

    Here are some ideas for change. What do you think of these, or do you have some of your own to offer?
    Here is a list of random ideas worth debating and considering. Most would require ballot initiatives and that is not as complex as you might think. 1) Form an election commission. There are plenty of blueprints for that in the statutes under which Salida governs itself (state statutes include models for this). An election commission would be a balanced body that reflects various groups but which is not accountable to the council or administration. An election commission composed of community volunteers could run elections cheaply and with a minimum of controversy. 2) Why not have a ballot initiative that limits the ways in which the city can sell or acquire property. 3) There is no reason in the world why the city should not hold public hearings on water rates. The outcome should not be pre-determined but the effect of the higher rates on the poor and seniors should and could be addressed. 4) What is going to happen with the pool. I am shuddering as I think of the cost of the upgrade idea that seems to be bubbling to the surface. I am half way expecting an initiative in that area that does not take into accountthe views of the citizens. 5) The council is recently talking about transparency and I welcome that. I have, however, found that some decisions and actions by council will slip by if you are not vigilent. Shoudn't we be asking for some specific initiatives from the city to increase transparency?
    Best regards, Billy

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  4. Jay Moore

    Billy,

    This is not in any way intended as an argumentative or "I told you so kind of statement".

    How many of your, new, not bad, quite creative ideas, could have been considered by the home rule comission?? That is why as a Council person I voted in favor of having the election. I thought, as it turns out incorrectly, that the unhappy would take advantage and correct the wrongs, via a re-do of the rules the city has to follow.

    Best regards, you are really a citizen of River City.

    Jay

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  5. Billy Carlisle

    I get your point Jay. I think the problems can be solved under statutory as well. Everything on my list can be handled under statutory rule. Also, I think there would have been a lot of unintended bad consequences under home rule. It was a reasonable diffrence of opinion we had, and both sides had good points.

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