I believe in my city, and I believe even more in the people who make up this fine community.
Where I have a hard time, however, is with some of the people who say they want citizens to be engaged, yet they go out of their way to exclude many who are interested in helping to charter a course or save money.
Yes, the optics are such that we tell people to get involved by putting out information sessions and creating advisory panels, but it really is sad to see how, in some instances, we scale back both the frequency and input we want to acquire from these resources. Do we really want feedback?
I've been to various public presentations where some higher-echelon staff would come to me, ask questions, and even solicit contact information as to follow up, yet they never had the courtesy to follow through. If such was never their intent, why bother?
I've been to presentations where I would inquire as to why certain methods were being implemented when little satisfactory outcomes seem to be attained and where results paled in comparison to successful past practices.
The presentations often seemed more an exercise in wanting to spend more time arguing merits of the new practices than correcting shortfalls. If anything, many powers that be were offended by queries. Why?
If the reason for doing things differently is a legislative order, then fine, explain it, but please let's not feed information which is not accurate or intentionally obscured. Many of us have been around too long to swallow some of the garbage being spewed out.
There is without a doubt savings out there, but to harvest them, there has to be co-operation from everybody.
To all those who's agendas want to exclude or trivialize public participation, please remember it is not just your city, it is our city, and we are all footing the bill.