imagesWe commend those who are willing to serve their public institutions, because being an elected official is sure fraught with it challenges. As Mayor Pro-Tem for the City of Auburn Hills, Michigan, I see it first-hand.

Why? Because making tough choices is often not very popular.  But if decisions are made for the right reasons, using the appropriate data and analysis, it is the job of the policymakers, as fiduciaries for their communities, to do what is in the best interest of the city (or school or library or ??), always with respect to the health, safety and welfare of its citizens.

The village board in Holly, Michigan recently voted to use the county sheriff for emergency 911 dispatch – which will save the village considerable money, provide outstanding service, and reduce the burden of having to fund periodic capital equipment upgrades.

In return for their analysis and courage to make a tough decision, the board is now facing recall petitions from angry residents who for some reason do not feel the board made the right decision. The recall petition was denied last week on a technicality.

If I lived and Holly and dropped to my knees grabbing my chest, I would want only one thing: somebody to answer the phone right away when my wife called 911, and for the first responder to get there in enough time to save my life and get me to the hospital…period!

Who answered the phone, where they lived, what color, gender or religion they are would be immaterial.  In this case, health safety and welfare is measured in response time and quality of service.

Prior to co-founding Munetrix, I spent years doing business coaching and strategic planning facilitation, and helping to shape mission statements was part of my work.  While talking with some peers recently, we were playing around with mission statement for local governments, and some of the lengthy flowery ideas were interesting.

But in my opinion a mission statement for all local governments could almost be narrowed down to one blanket statement.  “Provide the highest quality of services at the best possible value.”

But that’s just my opinion.

My hat is off to the council members in Holly; they should know there are some people who recognize the value of the role they play.

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