Citizens Unite

I had the pleasure to take part in the audience of the Adlermanic event this evening at 721 Media. Almost all of the candidates (all but three, Shirley Whilock a democratic running in Ward four, Mike Gill a republican running in ward seven and Todd Langon a republican running in ward eight) were present in a well organized, effective discussion on some of the most pressing issues in the city of Kingston.

The mix of new and old candidates really brought home a feeling that was quite refreshing. I was reminded in this forum that everyone up there were just ordinary people wishing to do a public service  and certainly, did not have many (if any) of the answers to the problems that we face.

Thing is, there can be no solutions without more citizens productively involved.

So how do we bridge this gap? Most all were as stumped by the questions as the audience who asked them. The old rhetoric in these unprecedented times are about as meaningful as a lie.

I’d like to suggest that the citizens lobby and ask their newly elected Alderman in November to call monthly meetings in their wards to work to bring together the constituents to discuss all that’s on the table. They want input on the budget? Than bring the budget to a productive place to discuss the options so that we can wood shed and come to city hall public meetings and be on record in a way that is creative and meaningful.

There are citizens in Kingston who pay more in taxes than they do their mortgage payment– and they are pissed as hell about it. Who could blame them?  It’s particularly unnerving, for whatever the reasons noble or not, that our services are about to be cut though we will continue to pay for them. The city will see and use these savings elsewhere. But how does the homeowner benefit?

You could have the same discussion with those who own buildings that house important business in the city of Kingston and who are taxed higher than those who also own similar types of properties with empty store fronts and who are taxed lower.

On the subject of taxes, here’s a savings. While we operated our Ward 9 debates at City Hall, on a cool late summer night (in the 60’s)- the air conditioning was blaring making those present needing extra clothing to keep them warm. When asked to turn off the AC and to open the windows instead, we were told that the system was on a timer that only the city’s engineer could address.  I’d like to see that whole system tweeked. I can only imagine how expensive it is to cool that entire building down.

…And, alderman, let’s organize and communicate while there is still the opportunity to do so.

Citizen’s unite.

RM

4 thoughts on “Citizens Unite

  1. Philip Gurrieri says:

    4 Steps Out of This
    Global Corporate Quagmire:
    TransVolutionizing TRUE interdependent Economies

    Declare OUR Kingston/Ulster County GREEN and have stimulus funds available to pass over that bridge into THE ACTUALITY of NOW.

    1. Declare our communities Pesticide FREE Zones; exclaiming that the “Buck Stops Here” with Cancer in our children, Autism in our children, Chemical induced Alzheimer disease in OUR Elders!
    2. Environmentally Friendly Built beyond a 3,000 sq. ft. & two families style homes & all Com & Ind. bldg. with STIMULUS Funds!
    3.&4. Convert the Farms & Livestock to Organic with STIMULUS Funds.
    New Paltz now has the incentive to open the college of the Ecological Arts & we enter the GREEN DOOR to Trillion $ Interdependent Economies.

    Or has rigamortise set into our body’s Brain?

  2. kingstonnavigator says:

    Our apologies. It was pointed out to us that in our original post we forgot to mention that there was one other candidate absent at the 721 Media Aldermanic event. Ward 7 republican candidate Mike Gill was also not present that evening.

    Thanks.

  3. debbie says:

    You are so right, Rebecca. In the three years I audited the common council the only time I can recall citizens coming out enmass was when the budget was presented in 2008 and the outcry was enormous. I wish that before the budget is presented by the Mayor to the common council that a public meeting be held to listen to the constituents concerns and even suggestions as to how they would like to see the budget created. In other words, get input before the city government decides on what we need or don’t need. It could be quite enlightening to the powers that be. If people think that the council is listening to them they are more apt to get involved in the whole process and offer opinions/suggestions. It all goes back to the concept of transparency. And how about this idea…? Publish a preliminary budget in the local paper for all to see. They publish all other government business (tax foreclosures, zoning request/ permits and etc.) so why not the budget? That way every body would be informed of the budget and see it in black & white. Figures do not lie.

  4. Tsquare says:

    Great Blog!……There’s always something here to make me laugh…Keep doing what ya do :)

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