Our citizens and taxpayers deserve representation consummate with their representatives’ responsibilities. They expect—and should expect—that we set an agenda that advances people’s well-being and ensures that Ferguson Township is a great place to live, to work, and to play. In our pursuit of these goals, members of our board should act professionally, with comity and polity, and with attention to the items before us. Importantly, we should engage in conflict in a way that is adult, serious, and sets an example for others to have difficult conversations and engage in the business of shared life.
Sadly, one of our board members acted in a manner that reflects badly on the township at the Monday September 17th regular meeting (video here). During staff reports, this board member behaved in such a way that I have trouble characterizing as other than childish and histrionic. As chair, I take responsibility for my role in the matter. I also stand beside my actions 100%. And while I cannot speak for the rest of the board nor the staff, I am confident that most if not all of them share my position and my concerns.
You should know that our board works very well despite these tantrums. The rest of us are able to disagree, talk, wrangle, laugh, and find common ground or agree to disagree with care, compassion, and intelligence. We also support one another in difficult times. One individual’s outbursts should never be our board’s legacy.
The current Ferguson Township board should be remembered for our ambitious goals, futures-thinking agenda, and the care we take with and for our community and staff. We are working to advance human dignity by through a non-discrimination ordinance. We embrace climate action through zoning, public works, by purchasing renewable energy, and developing ordinances that deal with ever more intense storms. We work for wise land use, beauty, and smart development. Our board and police force acknowledgeme that body cameras serve the police and our public. We are committed to excellent service and financial stewardship as represented by multiple GFOA Distinguished Budget Awards.
I believe we are focused on the long game and I’m proud of our work together.