Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Where Are We Headed?

City leaders want to take meetings on the road says the headline in a story in today's SHT

"The public seems to have a fractured view of us," Servian said.

The working people of Sarasota, "the silent majority," often lack opportunities to participate in local government and so they feel disconnected from it, the commissioners said. Often, elected officials find themselves hearing only the views of activists and special interests.

"We don't realize it's a minority (viewpoint) because we don't seek other points of view," Commissioner Ken Shelin said.

Well guess what? We do think the commission is fractured. Too many mis-steps recently have lead too many people to say "What is going on here? What is happening to Sarasota?"

If the commissioners truly believe it is a minority saying these things, they really do need to hit the road and talk to the constituents. You don't need to have regular meetings, you do need to visit the neighborhoods and ask how we think you are performing. Ask about downtown. Ask about affordable housing. Ask about following the processes that have been established to develop a vision that everyone buys into and how this vision is being implemented, try to convince us that the threat of lawsuits is not shaping our city.

There is lots to talk about.

We would also like to comment on Mike McNees' quote: City Manager Michael McNees told the commissioners Monday. "There is a sense in the outlying areas that they have been left out."

If you think we are in the "outlying area" you need to do some real soul searching. We are every bit a part of the city as downtown. As a matter of fact we "outliers" make up the majority, both in residents and voters. You might want to find out what we think about the city and how it is being run. Maybe the "in crowd" can learn something.

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