OP-ED: Alisa Pappenfort, Council Candidate Ward 3
My decision to be a candidate for Ward 3 was motivated because I was saddened by the tone our community discourse has taken. We live in a small town with values that I deeply respect. I love that we rely on each other in times of need. At our best we are kind and compassionate and rally around to support complete strangers in need or efforts to strengthen our community. However, as our community has grown and changed, our social fabric has weakened. Divides have been created that over the past few years brought out the worst in us. I want to help heal this divide.
No community at war has ever prospered. One side simply winning the majority will not heal it. We need a greater culture change and it will take all of us working together as a team to make that happen. Respect does not mean we will always agree. There will surely be differences. No one will always get their way. But we can be kind, listen to each other, and talk to each other. As a long term resident of Salida, I want to make sure there is always a heart in the Heart of the Rockies. Let’s be hard on ideas, but not our neighbors. This is my guiding principle.
I believe elected officials have a responsibility of stewardship. Good governance requires individuals who have integrity, who put the interest of the community over their own, and who can model the same values we want to see in all of our children. But our democracy is a three-legged stool that includes community members, elected officials and government staff. Break any leg and the stool topples.
I believe a well-functioning government includes effective management, including budgeting and fiscal responsibility. However, it is also so much more. It requires leadership where elected officials are focused on the future – where people will live, how they will work, support for a safe family-friendly place, and protecting our quality of life. These are the things I hope we can talk about. In addition to my years of financial management experience, over the past few years I’ve been educating myself on governance, planning, and community development. I am ready to help lead these community conversations.
Openness is a hallmark of transparency. I invite you to learn more about me via my website, contact me via Facebook or email, or better yet, let’s chat in person if we see each other on the street. Because openness builds trust, I agreed to participate in both candidate forums being organized in Salida. The first was to be hosted by the League of Women’s Voters, a respected national non-partisan non-profit with a 12-year tradition of hosting candidate forums in Salida. Unfortunately Mike Bowers and Bob Gleason refused to participate on grounds the LWV is biased. The second will be sponsored by the Mountain Mail. Regardless of the sponsor, I strongly believe that Salidans have the right to learn about their candidates’ values, their experience, and how they propose to build a brighter future for our community.
Elections offer a choice. I respectfully request that you join me in making our community stronger.
Alisa Pappenfort, Council Candidate Ward 3