Bad News For Some, Good News For Others: I’m Not Running For Office
Engage & Represent
Two weeks ago, yours truly was included in an article concerning Traverse City’s mayoral race (Record Eagle). It is true that I pulled petitions for the seat, but as I told the Record Eagle, that was for informational purposes related to the work here; I’m not running for mayor–Thanks for asking.
The last mayoral race was uncontested and I sense a community desire to have an interesting contest. We may not get interesting, but it appears that we will get entertaining. The only two people who’ve admitted to even considering running are Mayor Pro-Tem Ralph Soffredine and former mayor Michael Estes. Not knowing either of them of personally, I can only comment on what I’ve noticed between them at public meetings; I don’t think they like each others’ politics and both have noticeable combative personalities. I have serious concerns that either of them meet the requirements for the job, but I’m willing to be proven wrong and even more willing to consider someone else.
I’m also not running for a seat on the city commission. I considered it and discussed it with a variety of trusty “advisors.” There was a good mix of opinions and I’ve concluded that my civic engagement remains best served providing commentary, research and a critical eye to details on the main issues in my limited, but expanding, purview. For the time being, I will continue to serve on parks and recreation commission and continue to seek other opportunities to serve on other boards, commissions and committees–there is
For those of you interested, last April I provided information about how to join a city board or commission and an update on seats available in 2011-12 will be posted soon. Also, if you’re ever interested but don’t know where to begin, send me a message and I’ll see if I can help.
Forward We Go
August 9th is the deadline for potential candidates to submit their petitions to run for office and then they step into campaigning straight away as a large percentage of votes are cast as absentee ballots in September/October. The last election MyWHaT missed an opportunity to seek comment from candidates and shied away from directly endorsing one candidate over another. There were no city seats open last November though and, admittedly, that is where my comfort zone mainly resides. By late August, I suspect we’ll have a good idea of whom to support and I won’t mind attempting to give a MyWHaT bump.
Personally, I’m not looking for someone I agree with 100%. I will support and vote for someone who:
- Shares my general vision for the community
- Strives for excellence at every opportunity
- Communicates a clear, honest, collaborative approach to solving issues
- Open & clear about the ideology that informs their views, but not driven by a rigid ideology
- Exhibits the critical thinking ability to not only make decisions under, what are often, poor circumstances, but to also know when to apply the brakes and demand not just more, but relevant information.
And, there are likely others…have any criteria to add?
Thank you to everyone who pushed me to consider a run for a local seat and also to those who pushed me back a little. It wasn’t an easy choice, but now that I’ve made it, it is clearly the right choice. For all of the frustrations of repeatedly seeing local issues that I care about ignored or even voted down, I trust that the level of engagement, education and discussion will continue to improve in Traverse City and Northern Michigan. The current goal is to make more effective the impact that MyWHaT and the volunteer work I’m already engaged in at the City contributes to that end. The discussion that takes place on this blog and/or because of this blog is a critical piece to shaping and evolving my own views and approaches, thank you for assisting my education.