Happy New Year! Here are my resolutions for 2012:
1. Be more efficient in my dealings with political matters. Being “efficient” means being more “effective” with less effort and MUCH less time invested. Helping more residents understand how city government functions–or fails to function–is the first number in the efficiency ratio. ScottsdaleTrails has proven to be a great way to do that, and I will continue to improve the content, layout, navigation, and circulation to advance this goal.
2. Reducing effort and time invested (know my enemies). I’m also going to work on the second part of the efficiency ratio. I’m going to have much less tolerance for individuals and organizations who are getting paid to work against me, against the residents, and against our neighborhoods. I’ll try to be “civil” so as to not give those individuals and organizations the opportunity to undermine my efforts by whining about “uncivil dialog” at the same time they are stealing our community character and sustainability “for fun and profit” (to quote Councilman Littlefield).
3. Know my friends. For all my friends, political and otherwise: If you don’t share my views on the two items above, you are welcome to follow your own path…but don’t expect me to be there beside you. There is always a time for diplomacy. In Scottsdale politics that time ended about ten years ago and most of us failed to recognize it. I have listened to many folks tell me otherwise, and I’ve watched them ultimately be disappointed at having wasted their time and energy. I’ve wasted enough of my time to know better. I am always open to better ideas. However, if you don’t support me once I’ve chosen a course of action, don’t expect me to take time away from what I’m doing to help you with yours. There are few people in Scottsdale lately who have been more effective on more issues than I have. That’s not bragging, it’s just fact and I shouldn’t have to prove it.
4. Continue to study the issues. As above, there are few people who have invested more time in studying Scottsdale issues than me. I will continue studying the issues because knowledge of the facts makes it tough for my opponents to discount my input. I covered many of these issues in an earlier post, but chief among them is defeating the developer-crafted General Plan Update in the spring, and developer-shill city council members in the fall.
5. Reach out to expert allies to help me understand the issues. We have a number of citizens who are extremely knowledgeable on a variety of topics who can provide insight much faster than just digging into the books. This is what Mayor Lane and the City Council SHOULD be doing, instead of stacking our boards and commissions with people who simply say “yes” to everything that comes along thereby contributing nothing to public discourse about important issues.
I started to make this a list of ten items. However, my wife looked over my shoulder as I started typing Number 6. She said, “Resolutions ought to be about getting things done, not writing a novel.” So, I guess I’m “done” with this list!
I hope we all have a productive New Year!