Sunday, January 25, 2009

The ART of Government

My philosophy of effective government revolves around 3 important concepts.


The first two concepts are very closely related but subtly different. I distinguish them apart by thinking of accountability in terms of answerability, while thinking of responsibility in terms of the burden, duties and obligations of having to take action on something. Of course, transparency is simply having it all out in the open for scrutiny.

Getting all 3 together is the real trick.

Then there is the infamous quid pro quo, or “something for something.” Quid pro quo, though not inherently sinister, has increasingly taken on negative connation in the political sphere. In politics, it’s what gets things done. In politics, it’s what sends people to jail. In politics, it serves interests…just usually not yours. Whenever you are presented with a quid pro quo, it’s a potential red flag. Take extra precaution to remain in the light, because if it takes place in the dark, it probably isn’t ethical and maybe even illegal.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beyond the Breakers

I’ve been swimming in the surf without realizing it. It’s time for me to swim out past the breakers.

Top 5 '08 Accolades

5. Council member Mertz serving as everyone’s favorite whipping boy by continuing to be a tireless advocate for what he believes.

4. Bagels & Bakes providing exceptional product and service.

3. Shop-O-Rama Pizza defying the ice storm power outage by conducting generator-assisted business as usual.

2. Adirondack Tire on Curry Road providing unparalleled level of service on multiple occasions.

1. Dunkin’ Donuts at Helderberg and Curry providing consistent, friendly service on a DAILY basis.

Top 10 '08 Disappointments

10. Approval of Helderberg Meadows.
09. Proliferation of vacant eyesores along main thoroughfare.
08. Lack of progress on Hamburg Street sewer initiative.
07. Ongoing code enforcement issues.
06. Further delays for new water tank in Rotterdam Junction.
05. Town tax increase despite tapping surplus.
04. Ongoing adverse consequences of town reval.
03. Stalled remediation effort for Masullo Estates.
02. No emergence of independent candidate.
01. No updated Comprehensive Plan.