Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Role of the Council

The City Council of Richardson agreed on its 2017-2019 Statement of Goals and, not surprisingly (given it's me and all), I have a bone to pick, starting with the very first sentence.
The role of the Council is to be positive and resourceful advocates of the City.
No, the role of the council is to represent the people of Richardson. Being positive is also good. Being resourceful is also good. Being advocates of "the City" is also good, unless that interferes with being advocates for the people of Richardson. First, last, and always, the Richardson City Council needs to represent the people of Richardson.

The council's own choice of wording for its role is enlightening. The council sometimes acts like it sees its role as being the booster club for the developers and businesses wanting to make money in Richardson. Maintaining good relations with the chamber of commerce is great, but the people of Richardson don't need the city council to duplicate that organization. In fact, sometimes the people of Richardson need government to regulate business for the health and benefit of neighborhoods. "Regulate business" and "neighborhoods" are terms that don't appear anywhere in the (long) statement of goals. That all stems from getting off on the wrong foot from the very first sentence.

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