Rules of the Game

I sat down after my run tonight to update my husband on the goings on in my world.  Normally he is not terribly interested in my antics or those of Wylie City Council, but he listened intently because I received some really excellent advice from Katrina Pierson and he has the utmost respect for her.  Katrina has appeared on the National Fox News as well as other news radio networks and has been labeled The Tea Party Darling.  She is on the Dallas Tea Party executive board and is the leader of the Garland Tea Party.  She has been a wonderful mentor and friend and I appreciate her immensely.

As my discussion with the spousal unit unfolded, it got me thinking that I should be telling my readers this and not bothering him with it.  He is the bread-winner, the decision-maker, and the ruler of my household, and he lets me go off half-cocked so I can do what I do, oh and he still adores me enough to bring home the loveliest smelling Lilies tonight.  I couldn’t have found a better support system and a better friend.  He is the rock when my hyper, artsy, dream world Piscean traits get the better of me. He puts up with me when I have to move the bed across the room at 2 am because the bad feng shui isn’t allow me to sleep.  He is the one who will run with me at 10:30 pm because I am feeling guilty that I did not get it in earlier.  He is the one who humors me when I get the burr under my saddle to go paint a room or tile something.  He is the one who will run out at 11 pm to get me milk so that I can have my glass every night before bed.  He is definitely the better half of this equation.

Rather than bother him with my musings, I will state them here.  My blog premise tonight is this, if I were running for City Council I have a few items I would bring forth as my platform. 

1)   I would like to see the citizens get some sort of tax break.  I realize that without the citizens carrying our city, nobody’s agenda gets achieved. 

2)   I would like to see the city employees get a permanent raise.  From what I can tell, a proper comparison has not been done and I think it is overdue.  I believe there are some employees who are on the higher end of the scale and others who are not.  I think that when Councilman Goss spoke during the last budget work sessions stating that if a city employee didn’t like not getting a raise they could look elsewhere, it was a bit harsh.  That said, there is some truth to the sentiments.  For anyone not working as a public servant, we get the privilege to work ‘at will’.  Texas right to work laws are pretty unfavorable to employees and we are definitely at the mercy of our employers.  That said, if our employer doesn’t want to or feel like providing us with a raise, we are pretty much on our own. Yes, the private sector is a like it or leave it, cold, harsh reality and this is our reality we live on a daily basis.  Would I have stated it that way?  Absolutely not, because it was incredibly harsh and nobody wants to be treated like they are insignificant.   I would like to see those employees who are underpaid, paid a fair wage so that they do not have to look elsewhere.  Wylie is a top city to work for and we should take pride in keeping it that way.

3)   I would like to see the city hire more police officers.  From my rough estimations, 1 per every 1K citizens is simply not good enough, especially if we wish to market the city as a safe place to live in hopes of drawing new citizens.

4)   I would like to see more business brought into Wylie.  That means that the council must work closely with the WEDC so that Sam and crew can continue to bring their A game.  I think the council already does a pretty good job of this and I would continue on with that theme.

5)   I would like to see a Code of Ethics passed.  I think it is time that we have a professional body sitting up there, rather than a hodge podge of hopelessly classless people.  I used to work with a woman who I dubbed the burper/farter.  Heaven help the woman, she had IBS, but she lacked class to the point that she just let them gurgle and purge at will.  She was eventually let go, and it was indeed because she was so classless.  Nobody wants a group of liars, cheats, posers and yellers up there.  Placing a vote in a person is an intimate decision.  Hopefully one has studied the individual and found they represent our thoughts and theories more rather than not.  I have to believe that people do not want to intentionally vote for a burper/farter, but when one is a poser and makes it on council, citizens are left with the stench for 3 years.  Until now, people did not pay close attention because Wylie was growing and changing.  But Wylie has actually arrived somewhere.  Wylie is on the map and its citizens must now work through the sea of mediocrity and attempt to raise up people who will behave ethically, people who are highly educated, people who personify the best part of our own selves.  I want to see a Code pass because it is important to tell people the rules of the game before it starts.

6)   I would like to see the city budget reworked line item by line item rather than merely handing that task over to the City Manager and her staff.  There is some opposition to this idea, but I find most of this opposition to be pure laziness.  It is council’s job to study the budget.  Some councilmembers simply hand the task over and nod their OK nary a glance.  Others really read it.  Wylie has some sizeable revenue coming in, as opposed to the good old days 10-20 years ago and it is high time the budget is given a thorough sweep because there is waste; there is always waste.  I am confident there are items that can be cut and reworked, and coupled with the sales tax coming in, I think we have a really good shot at achieving all of our goals.  Cuts made now will mean that a quint doesn’t have to be leveraged later.  I get the whole finance mumbo jumbo about borrowing cheaply now in this buyer’s market, but I believe our goals can be achieved without an increase in taxes.  This point is by far the most difficult task, because it also means looking at our personnel and seeing if there is redundancy or dead weight.  It means forcing the leaders to stop holding on to employees who are wasting precious budget because the leaders simply cannot get control over their own ego.   It also means taking another looksee at all of the buildings the city currently owns and making some hard decisions about why we are holding onto airspace that is losing money year after year.  It means that perhaps not everyone gets what they think they deserve, but they get just enough.  

7)   Finally, I would like to see the city get the hell out of our way.  I would like to see less government and not more which goes hand in hand with the tough decisions necessary in my 6th point.  It means stopping all the liberal placating and hand holding and telling them no because they are sucking the system dry.  It means less city involvement in the citizen’s lives and it is a daunting task to right size a government that has grown too large for useful purpose any longer. 

These are the ideas I would run on after knowing all that I know about how the city is run.  Someone whom I love and respect and find very wise told me they do more with less in their job.  It seems there is a lot of that going on since the economy went bust.  Sometimes the bust is a good thing because we finally see how wasteful we’ve become and we are right-sized.  Someone else very wise told me that I know too much. They mean that I know too much of what is going on within the city and it is making me cynically sick.  True, I do know too much of what is going on but in the case of the final stages of allowing Wylie to grow into all that it will be, I also know that it is time for us to shrink our government down to its proper size because we are no longer in the empire building stage.  Good, bad, or indifferent, the empire is pretty much built.  We are now at the stage where ignorance is not bliss and some difficult decisions must be made and ignoring them will only continue strapping the citizens and forcing further decay.