Excellence in government?
There was an offensive advertisement in the newspaper on October 15th depicting our City Administrator as some kind of puppet master over myself and Mayoral candidate Forrest Whitman. This advertisement was paid for by Salidians for Excellence in Government whose registered agent is Lorene Farney. The thirteen contributors to the organization as of October 13th include Lorene & Rod Farney, Billy & Sydd Carlisle, Vern Davis, Monicka Griesenbeck, Jan Sebastian and Steve Borbas. We have allowed people like these thirteen individuals to control the conversation in this community for far too long.
The damage that has been done to our community over the past few years is immense and will take years to repair. They have taken away from us our trust in our local government. We are such a fortunate community in the talented and responsible elected officials and staff who choose to serve this community. If you need proof, just look around at how this community is thriving. Salida hasn’t seen commerce like this in decades. Sure we have potholes and streets in disrepair. This did not happen overnight. Unlike many communities, we are actually addressing the problems which we were unable to even think about doing a decade ago.
Yes, there are challenges to be faced. Along with these improvements come concerns about things like housing prices, increased traffic, maintaining our small town character and the impact of second homes. And we need to address these challenges. It should be taken up through effective leadership, good governance and a collective vision for the community, not through vicious attacks on myself and others who serve the community.
A discussion of ideas and policy would be much more beneficial than silly statements like ‘the Mayor breaks ties’. Yes, I do break ties when there is a divided Council. What else is one going to do in the case of a 3-3 vote? If you disagree with the way my vote falls, then let’s discuss that, but to depict any duly elected official in a garbage can; come on, the voters deserve much more respect than that!
Local elected officials and staff are community members. They are involved in local governance because they feel compelled to serve their community. Don’t we want the best people we can find to serve this community? How does depicting a candidate as a puppet or an elected Mayor in a garbage can serve those goals? As a community we need to come together and reject these petty personal attacks. I sincerely hope that the next Council will be able to focus on proactive solutions to problems rather than being stymied by a few individuals and their outspoken reactive responses and constant lashing out at elected officials and civil servants.
During the remainder of the campaign and, if elected, I encourage all candidates to concentrate their efforts on improving and building up this great community rather than damaging and tearing it down. As a community let us focus on collaboration rather than division. Let us listen to one another, be open to new ideas and find common ground that we can agree on.
What have we become here in this wonderful community? Why have we allowed the conversation to get to this lowly level? We are better than this here in Salida. We have the good fortune to make our homes here in this wonderful valley away from many of the troubles of the world. Why do we continue to allow a small group of angry people tear us apart? Please join me in putting a stop to this unacceptable behavior. We do need excellence in our local government. We do not need hate, spite and nastiness. Carefully consider what each candidate stands for, not who they stand against and exercise your right to vote in this election. The future of this great community truly is at stake.