Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The November 30 Commission Meeting Gets an A

Transparency was the theme of the evening last night at the first meeting of the new commission, a special session to consider several resolutions and ordinances. The meeting's civil tone, with significant discussion on the dais of the merits of each item, combined with respectful comments expressing support or disagreement from the public and lack of grandstanding, made the meeting almost boring which is what a routine commission meeting should be.

The day to day work of a municipal government is not a whole lot different than any private enterprise and it usually happens without fireworks or impassioned stands being taken. Decisions are made by presenting the need for a change, discussing the various aspects and implications of the decision being considered, new information is taken into account and the decision is made or not depending on its merits. Holding tight to a position rather than a goal and grandstanding rather than discussing ideas is the hallmark of a failed organization.

Our last city commission failed as a result of grandstanding and positioning. Every item had been decided long before it got to the public. We were used to the sight of three commissioners sitting on the dais, having long before decided how they would vote and never sharing their reasoning. The alliance was based purely on personal animosity against Mayor Alfonso, ego and a disregard for the public.

Mayor Corina Esquijarosa knows there is no chance of returning the government to the citizens if the political process problem is not addressed. Her first steps as mayor have been to fix the process and the tone. Last night, she consistently directed the commission to the subject at hand to keep the public focus where it needs to be. That's not to say that all the commissioners agreed with her or even voted with her. They didn't but they laid out why they felt the way they do.

I will be covering each of these items later this week. There aren't that many but they matter to the ongoing transparency.

The five members of the commission get an A for their willingness to engage publicly in the process of governance.

Kevin Vericker
December 1, 2010

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