Voters should look for council candidates who inform themselves and are committed to the city

KEN DAIGE

Ken Daige
Ken Daige

The best Vero Beach city council candidates are those who have a true heart for service.

The best candidates will respect the oath of elected office and state law regarding the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the city they want to represent.

Candidates will study a map of our city boundaries and know where their potential constituents live.

These candidates would surely have taken the time to serve on a city board or commission thereby gaining knowledge of our Sunshine and Ethics Laws. Surely candidates will become intelligence gatherers and knowledge sponges, scheduling time to speak with other city leaders, department heads and available employees to gain a better grasp of the day to day operations of the city they want to represent. Interested candidates will read and gain understanding of the city’s operating budget and requirements, the city reserve funds and the city’s working enterprise functions.

Respectful candidates will study our city charter and gain valuable insight as to what would be expected of them as an elected official. Serious candidates will study and contemplate their oath of elected office knowing this will be the backbone of their tenure in elected office. They will research to understand the process of an elected position and the requirements expected of an elected official.

These eager and willing candidates will surely be aware of current heart-of-the-matter issues weighing on the minds of their potential city constituents.

When shopping, running errands or attending various civic and religious functions candidates will surely make themselves available by being approachable, sociable, polite and knowledgeable. Residents should feel comfortable asking these candidates questions about any pertinent aspect of city functions.

Once candidates are elected to office, the newly elected officials would surely want to present themselves before the public in the best possible light incorporating decorum, dignity and respect for the office to which they were elected. Newly elected officials would surely take note and watch past meetings on cable, internet or DVD to gain insight on action such as how to debate policy issues while seated at the dais.

The newly elected officials would surely expand their knowledge base to understand the process of city government. Elected officials should have no qualm researching about and hiring expert or legal consultants, as the need arises, in order to pursue due diligence before debating or deciding important matters for the constituents they represent.

The November 8, 2016 newly elected Vero Beach City Council Members will have to function under the 2016-2017 Operating Budget, a budget proposed by the current city council.

These three newly elected officials, along with two current city council members, will be responsible for caring for the city infrastructure needs; some of which has not been budgeted for some time now but need done. How will maintenance be paid for with the current smaller city budget? Will the city have to charge park user fees and parking fees?

City open spaces and park ordinances have been at the forefront of numerous recent city decisions. There is still pressure from private and not-for-profit organizations for their exclusive private access and use of our city public lands. Consequently this limits uses for the public. There is also active conversation to sell off public city owned property which will bring a very small monetary return.

There is no point to the claim the city is for prosperity, safety and jobs when the infrastructure is not maintained or cared for.

To have the cared for and quality city we all talk about, the city will need to attract and retain quality employees for the long term. This includes reasonable long term plans for city pension and health care needs. The city will also need to maintain the balance of activity with public safety, which includes maintaining city owned street lights including bulb replacement, road and sidewalk maintenance, cityscape and parks maintenance, storm drain repair and maintenance.

The residents of the City of Vero Beach deserve quality candidates willing to become first rate elected officials; ones who will care for and oversee overall city functions without philosophical political restrictions.

 

One comment

  1. It would also be good if one or two of the Council members lived on the mainland. That part of the city deserves representation, too!

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