Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Can I just say that moving is a nightmare? I absolutely love my new house but I feel so claustrophobic and OCD about all of the stuff laying around my house in boxes. AHHHH! Let's also talk about how fun it is to move when it is raining and it's the week before Christmas. Oh yeah. Woo.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It's Michael here.Friends and neighbors, I have an announcement.
I love sharing my opinion on important issues. I love debating everyday things that people care about and determining why they feel the way they do. I believe in careful commitment to decisions that supports a better future.
Does that sound too politician-like?
How about this:
I want to run for Town of Gilbert leadership in 2010 or 2012. Although I believe that Gilbert is one of the best municipalities in the nation, I feel that there are three areas that need to be addressed to make sure that Gilbert remains among the best places to live.
1. Citizens need to be heard. There are two recent examples where Gilbert citizens have been ignored recently. One was by the school board, which went through the motions of openness only to insult citizens by ignoring their voice in the decisionmaking process. Similarly, recent zoning decisions around the future temple site have been made without adequate consideration of the citizens' opinions. Simply explaining what I am doing and why is not sufficient. I must do what I do because I and the citizens both understand that the future will be better for what we do today.
I will address this concern by establishing a "Lobbyist Chat". In these sessions, I will allow citizens to discuss with me what is on their mind. I will call it "Lobbyist Chat" because I want the citizens to know that their lives and opinions are the voices that will steer my decisionmaking. They will be my only lobbyists, and I will encourage citizens to make sure their opinions and lives are recognized in the leadership of their town.
2. The city zoning hasn't been forward looking. Nearly everybody who lives in Gilbert works elsewhere. Why does Gilbert have some of the highest transit times in the valley? Because city planning has failed to establish employment opportunities within the community for the citizens. Without forethough and serious planning, Gilbert will continue to grow and be one of the best places to live... for perhaps another decade. Then, Gilbert will become the new Mesa, a bedroom community full of great people who drive across town borders to work and spend. Unfortunately, as we see in Mesa, when the citizens spend and work across the town borders, then the municipality cannot support the necessary infrastructure to maintain a safe and pleasant community.
I will address this concern through working towards a comprehensive city plan. Town planning and zoning leadership can help Gilbert to become the community of the future that is the premier place to live, not just sleep. I will work with the planning and zoning leadership to establish and communicate Gilbert's plan to be the most livable city in Arizona. Although I do generally believe that a smaller government is a better government, I do believe that a city investment in business incentives to attract quality jobs and tax revenue is something that should be discussed and considered.
3. City responsibilities of infrastrucutre and policing have been neglected. Gilbert average transit times lead the Valley. Public transit is not adequate or useful. Gilbert police staffing is among the lowest in the valley. Although this may be proportional to Gilbert's current level of safety, I am not sure that the level of police staffing is adequate to maintain the safety and comfort of Gilbert communities.
I will address these concerns by encouraging a reprioritization. Gilbert should focus on utilization public transit through park and ride facilities that link to Phoenix's new light-rail system. Gilbert needs to evaluate the utilization of roads, using a logistical analysis to determine if further progress can be made in light timing and speed limits to encourage a smoother, more efficient commute. Finally, the police force needs to be strengthened. Gilbert will manage the police force in a way that city leaders, citizens, and police leadership feels will maintain the safety of Gilbert.
That's what I'm thinking.
What do you think?
Are there obstacles I should be aware of? Would you support my campaign? Do you think I should run?
Now, I need to make sure that the house we're buying becomes ours so that I can live a year in Gilbert before the next election.