I am pleased to introduce Tim Hodge as a guest blogger. Tim is an outstanding contributor and an active member of the Simi Valley Community. He’s served twice on the Neighborhood Council, as Chair of the Vision 20/20 Project, President of the Board of Directors on the Simi Valley Free Clinic and several years on the Executive Board of Citizens for a Safe and Scenic Simi Valley. I’m honored to share his thoughtful editorial with you.
While much attention is being placed on the high stakes campaigns for Senate, House of Representatives and Governor, there must be something left of our time and energy to think about the candidates for local office, most notably for Mayor and City Council. In so doing, what might we be thinking about?
There are some on this blog that have written, correctly so, that Simi Valley is a great city, a fine place to raise a family and a place we can call home with pride. When selecting our City Council, is this all we need to know?
There are others that point out that certain candidates are frequent volunteers to charity organizations in town or lived here for more years than another candidate. Is this enough to be elected?
How about this…We vote for the person who has the ideas and abilities to make our city the best it can be. We insist the candidates tell us what they want to do, how they plan to do it and require them to convince us that they have the integrity get it done.
Anyone can utter the mantras of “supporting our police…keeping Simi beautiful…supporting business…listening to the people.” Laudable goals for certain. What is too often missing is the “how” and the “what”. How will the candidate support crime suppression and what will be the result? How does the candidate plan on making changes that will enhance aesthetics, cause more businesses to come to our town and support those that are already here? If we were texting, “Wot will u do?”
It’s not about campaign signs, who flips the most pancakes or has relatives who came over in the first covered wagon…or beat that wagon over the pass. It is about our future. A future that needs to be made. A future that can only be improved upon by people with the right vision and the ability to execute.
Sure, past performance earns points. If a previously elected candidate came up with great ideas in the past, and made those a reality, it can be expected that the ideas they put forth today have a chance of getting done. Fine.
That is not enough.
There are new challenges ahead of us that will require new thinking and new solutions. The State may take more of our funds away? How will we handle the challenge and still fund essential services? The economy may suffer a double dip recession? How will we make Simi Valley the city that draws to it those businesses that can stay in business, and deal with them fairly and in a way for them to thrive? And, whether in good times or bad, how will we keep our city the place we want to call home?
We must have answers. It will not do to say someone had good ideas before, but knows not now.
A comment for full disclosure, I know all of the incumbents, and consider some as friends. I also know some of the challengers. When it comes time to vote, they might well be strangers.
Our votes may be the most precious contribution we can make to freedom and our way of life. That vote should go to the candidate who is honest enough to tell us what they will do if elected, is capable of executing and has the most good ideas. Let’s hear about that, and not about who has the best looking sign or flipped the most pancakes.