Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Leadership is a character trait in a class of its own. It is both tangible and intangible, observable and measurable. It can be felt, seen, heard and encountered all at the same time. In local politics, leadership is an essential quality every city council member must posses if they are to represent the people. Without it your interest will never be fought for and your voice will never be heard.
Far to often we see individuals running for office with the constituents best interest at heart. Wanting to be a great representative they proclaim loudly,
"I will follow the will of the people!"
"I will listen to constituents and vote on their behalf!"
These statements are well indented and often well received. The citizenry are happy they will be listened to, and in turn embrace the candidate as both their voice and their choice. This cycle seems to benefit all parties involved, yet the elected leader starts their term of service with their own priorities and special interests in mind.
Why does this seem to often happen?
To get elected to local government, you must have a few key issues as talking points. Often these issues are hot topics of conversation driven by our social and political climate. They are often very specific and can live in the lime light for months. A candidate merely has to stick to the popular talking points until they are elected. Often times they vote as they said they would, but in time, the issues they campaigned on fade away and a new set of problems arise.
This is where the candidate, becomes the compromiser.
Compromise isn't in and of itself a bad thing. Often times both parties involved in a dispute can come to an agreement if their "Why" is addressed instead of their "What" (we will save that for a later post). Unfortunately at the local level, the result of compromise is often times predictable. It occurs between what the city staff wants, and the people of the city want. In these situations the tradeoffs are often lopsided. City staff "Is" government, government grows unless checked by those elected to represent the people.
So why do presuppositions matter?
A presupposition is view point held at the core of ones understanding. A belief that is so fundamental, it guides the logic of everything that follows. It is the world view that guides all decisions and allows for a predicable answer to complicated questions. If you know what a person believes about the big things, you can guess where they stand on the small things. A good leader doesn't change their positions for the masses. They are honest with their guiding principles and if chosen to lead, sticks to their beliefs through thick and thin.
My pledge to you.
I have core beliefs that will guide how I vote. These, by virtue of my honesty, can not change. They can not be bought or pressured into submission. They must stay consistent and can not waiver. But they are transparent and genuine.
You as the voter must decided if our world views align. If they do, I pledge to stand fast and not waiver. If our world views do not align, I pledge to be fair in my understanding and respectful in my decent.
I will end this post with my guiding principles. Being honest where I stand, and giving you insight into how I will vote. Hopefully knowing where I stand on the larger issue will allow a glimpse into how I will vote on everyday issues.
Liberty: Liberty is foundational to our nation. Our Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of our country. Rights are not given by man and can not be taken away by man.
Public Safety: Our Police Officers must be supported and well funded. Our Officers must be fully protected while upholding the constitution and rule of law.
Infrastructure: Providing safe and functioning roads is a crucial responsibility. We must prioritized these needs above most other capital expenses.
Pro Business Environment: All attempts should be made to protect local business from unwarranted regulations and complications. Businesses must increase the quality of life to Ramsey Residents.
Taxation: We must use expanding sources of revenue to pay down debt and decrease the tax burden for the residents before considering pet projects.
Protect the Vulnerable: Those who's rights are infringed upon must be protected. Every individual is sacred and has worth.
Hierarchy of Local Government: The residents, in their position of authority, elect representatives to direct city staff. The residents guide our city, not the staff.
Parks and Recreation: Exercise and green spaces play a pivotal roll in our happiness. Our parks and programs must continue in a responsible manner.
City Growth: Ramsey's rural charm must be protected while allowing for growth around the COR. Doing so will result in lower tax liability for the residents and increase the standard of living while protecting rural areas.