Every day, it seems that politicians at the federal and state government levels get more interested in political positioning, and less interested in governing for the people. Often, when facing a difficult question, or challenged with the need for a major budget overhaul, instead of looking at refining their own policies or approaches, their answers are to reduce programs or cut financial support for local governments.
With the federal and state governments taking a step back in their involvements and contributions to assisting the populace, and at the same time, lowering their support for local governments, local leaders (in cities, villages, counties, schools, etc.) now more than ever, need to take control of their own destiny.
This means that it is up to the leaders of these local governments to find ways to work together for the long-term benefit of the citizens that they serve. We must learn how to work together with the private sector, with civic-sector groups, and with other governmental agencies for the future development and growth of our communities.
Cities must invest wisely in their plans for growth and infrastructure. They must look around and borrow the best practices, innovations, and ideas from other successful cities and private companies. Last, but not least, we must cooperate in order to sustain success. We do not operate in a vacuum, and many times issues cross municipal and geographical boundaries.
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This requires all of us in leadership to work with others for the greater good, instead of operating in a parochial manner looking out for one’s own power and authority.
Here in O’Fallon, to gain insight and cooperation that could be beneficial to our citizens, we have formed several groups during the last few months. Some of these include:
▪ Quarterly meetings with our local school superintendents
▪ Quarterly meetings with our County Board members
▪ Regular meetings and discussions with other local mayors
These partnerships have already begun and have resulted in such things as:
▪ Working with our schools, neighboring cities, and civic groups to study consolidation of the local schools in order to determine if what O’Fallon offers is the best educational system possible, and in the most cost-efficient manner.
▪ Forming a consolidated 911-dispatch program, which improves services and saves money for all communities involved.
▪ Working with St. Clair County to eliminate duplication of services and improvements on needed areas.
▪ Working with O’Fallon’s schools and other communities on purchasing bids on common items to save money.
▪ The funding and organizing for the Holiday Parade and Lighting and for the 2018 O’Fallon City Fest.
It is my goal to keep O’Fallon moving forward, produce positive results for the benefit of our citizens, continue to make this community the most desirable place to call home, and doing so with the least amount of partisan conflict possible.
As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.