I sent this to the mountain mail five days ago, but they had not yet published it.
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email Paul Goetz
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We have two candidates for Mayor this fall. They have a lot in common. They are long term Salida residents, they care about this community, and they have donated hours of time and energy to our little town in different ways. They are both good men, but they are not both good leaders.
P.T. Wood has been on the Salida Planning Commission for years, and has been the Chair for many of those years. I have appeared before Planning Commission as an applicant, and I have observed many meetings when I was not involved in the proceedings. Mr. Wood has been polite to both the applicants and the other Planning Commission members. He has allowed discussion and kept the discussion focused on the matter at hand. The current Planning Commission has a reputation for being fair and following the code as it is written. It is a well run machine.
Jim LiVecchi has been the mayor for almost two years. After two years in office, I have no idea what his vision is for our future. He and some members of the current council seem to be very reactive, and not visionary. They spend a lot of time, energy, and money consumed with things that happened in the past, but they don’t seem to have a plan for the future. The staff of the City has experienced a lot of turnover since the Mayor took office. We have lost two City Administrators, two Finance Directors, a Community Development Director, a Deputy City Clerk and our Public Works Director retired early. Six of our twelve department heads have left our city government in under two years, and we currently have no Deputy City Clerk or Finance Director. This high level of turnover has gutted our institutional knowledge. It appears that the Mayor has put an inordinate amount of trust in the City Attorney instead of relying on the expertise of City employees, This reliance on an outside employee has resulted in exorbitant legal fees. In addition, the Mayor has not consulted the members of Council to approve many of the Attorney’s tasks.
Mr. LiVecchi has shut down fellow Council members when he did not agree with what they had to say. If you have not seen this video, please take 3 minutes to watch this except from the October 3 City Council meeting: The Mayor repeatedly interrupts Council Member Rogers, eventually making it impossible for her to speak. What is he trying to hide?
When you are ready to cast your ballot for Mayor, please think carefully. You have two nice men to choose between. P.T. Wood has a proven record of running the Planning Commission, listening, and following and enforcing the City rules and regulations. Jim LiVecchi has overseen a very tumultuous and contentious period in our local politics. I do believe that both candidates are good people with good intentions. However, what Salida needs is good leadership.Please join me in voting for a good leader, P.T. Wood.