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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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From the desk of Joseph Styles

After attending tonight’s City Council meeting, I feel I need to get my thoughts out. I was not allowed to do so at said meeting, as I did not fill out a Comment Card before the meeting. There is only one problem, the Proposition changed during the meeting and my questions developed from those changes. How can I submit a question in advance if I do not have the question?

The Proposition I speak of was to have an elected “Southside” representative on the Council, with full voting privileges. There is only one problem with that to me. What makes one “Southside” I, for example, live in the Southside, but I own and operate a business in the North. I do not consider myself someone who divides this city of our’s in two. So what do I fall into?

Sitting in tonight’s Council meeting, I looked around the table and saw a lot of people that I was not sure why they were voting members. The police chief, a police Lieutenant, fire chief, hospital/clinic doctor and a District Attorney. All of these are important people, so please do not get me wrong. I just do not understand why they are voting members of the council. I think they all should be present and should all be there to present a briefing on the goings-on of their departments. The city should know what is going on, but they should not have voting power.

And then there is the whole North/South issue. I do not feel the government should be divided like some people feel our city is. It got me thinking. Our government doesn’t need to have representatives from different “zones” or representatives of different professions of it. What we need is to do is improve and modify our government. The Southside is not a special designation or class. If anything, singling them out for the point of government almost seems antidemocratic. We are electing a town official and because some people didn’t like who was elected, now we are talking about expanding government to appease them? That is why I am writing here. I am writing what I would personally like to see our government become.

My first change would be removing all those aforementioned people from the council. It has nothing to do with them personally. I just don’t feel they need to be on the council. They aren’t elected, they aren’t appointed by the Mayor. They do not need to be there. I also feel that the Governor does not to be a voting member of the council. By all means, the Governor should attend and voice their opinion. I just do not feel they need to be troubling themselves with casting a vote.

Clearly, the Mayor is an elected official, and they would lead the City Council. I propose that there be elections for City Representatives. This is not designated as North or South. Anyone can run for these two positions. The two highest vote getters would then be on the council. Again, as elected officials.

They Mayor would then have the right to appoint a City Manager and a Financial Director for the City. These two positions would be given full voting power, as they are appointed by the elected Mayor.

In summary, my proposal is to have a five person City Council, comprised of an elected Mayor, two elected City Representatives, an appointed City Manager and an appointed Financial Director. City Council meetings would be attended by the Governor, who is free and encouraged to voice their opinion, as well as have monthly statements from the heads of the Fire, Police, Medial and legal fields.

Thank you for giving a proud citizen of Santa Ramona Valley your attention to clear their mind and their chest.

Joseph Styles