TRUST & TRANSPARENCY
I will work towards gaining TRUST and increasing TRANSPARENCY between city officials, tax payers, donors, and the people who work, volunteer, learn, and live here.
While preparing for my campaign, I spent many long nights reading page upon page of financial reports and special interest reports, and state audits etc.,. There's a lot of work to do to improve the way our city does business.
West Liberty has had many chances over the years to put in place standardized processes that are more efficient and effective to manage budgets, and that are used by cities across the nation. We are literally using old accounting rules that are known to bankrupt cities, and yet, audit after audit, promises are made to change this and almost a decade later the same problems are still showing up. Why are we stuck when it comes to actually implementing these practices to ensure transparency and a balanced budget that can be tracked penny for penny? I am going to figure it out.
It's well overdue to build a solid infrastructure for our city, strengthen our procedures and policies, and take care of business the right way.
My experience with utilizing and reconciling a vast, complex accounting system for the University of Iowa allows me to understand just what is needed to help create and maintain a new and improved (and compliant) accounting system that will finally allow us to say, Adios! to financial mistakes that are costing city tax payers thousands of dollars to fix.
Our city employees, and those we do business with will be included in the conversation, so that their experiences are shared and ideas can be exchanged in ways to collaborate and create processes that works most efficiently and easily for everyone, while keeping us compliant with the state.
We don't just need "affordable" housing, we need renovations and housing built inside city limits that will attract families from all economical backgrounds. Without this, our city will continue to divide itself naturally, as high-cost homes will continue to be built on the outskirts of town, and businesses and homes within our city limits will continue to deteriorate. As property values decrease, so do property taxes used to fund our schools and services. We have come too far to allow the old systems of division to consume us. We have to do something now to protect our city in the future.
There are many opportunities to improve our city that are not sought out. There are several community grants we could be applying for that would pay for improving housing and businesses with installing sustainable renewable energy, expanding recreational and extra-curricular programs, and other community projects that we just aren't taking advantage of. We have a bank in town that would be a perfect candidate for an MID, which will bring more business and investors to West Liberty. The possibilities are endless when it comes to providing more resources to our town.
And for goodness sakes we need a DOG PARK!
"Nothing about us, without us!"
Inclusion is key to allow the city council to pass inclusive policies and make decisions that considers all impacts to the community. Often times, there are decisions being made for communities, without the effort of first inviting those impacted for input. I am someone who builds programs, creates policies, and develops services through inclusivity. In the end, being inclusive benefits EVERYONE.
But what about when we don't see eye-to-eye?
One of my superpowers is to bring people who have different opinions, TOGETHER, so that all sides can be heard, conversations can be had in a cordial manner, and coalitions can be built in order to work together toward a solution that is best for the greater good.
OPPORTUNITY & PRAISE
My plan includes youth programs, community service and mentorship opportunities for members of all backgrounds.
It helps us to make sure ALL FAMILIES can afford to have engaging, vibrant summers, healthy meals, daily trips to the pool, and excursions to new places they can learn about and explore, regardless of income.
It works to reduce bullying, build critical skills in not only our children, but in adults who want to improve their education, build their careers, start their own businesses, and/or use their success to reinvest back into the community.
It will expand our efforts to support community members who want to pursue citizenship, increase access to civil engagement and education opportunities, and implement a city-wide campaign that encourages community service and voter registration.