“In a democracy, people get the government they deserve”. OK, I know we’re a republic. But when Alexis de Tocqueville said that, he was talking about America. And who can argue with him?
The more time citizens spend educating themselves with the actions or indolence of the people at City Hall the better for everyone in Temecula.
How many of you read at least one newspaper a day? How many regularly attend City Council meetings? How many ask questions based on the record of your elected officials? How many make public records requests? If citizens don’t take the reins, those in power will. Just because we elect someone doesn’t mean we rest on our laurels and expect the best. We have to demand the best! We have to pay attention, if we are to retain a will of the people.
When the owner of the business appears regularly at the office, it’s a different workplace entirely. People are more inclined to strive for goals, accuracy, accountability, etc. It’s your responsibility to show yourself to the people you elected and make it known you expect real productivity.
Quit complaining and step into your role as supervisor:
1. Familiarize yourself with the City’s website.
2. Learn as much as you can about the people you have working for you, those whom you have placed in charge of your money. After all, they are required to be good stewards, see if they meet the standards you require.
3. Speak out! Attend your council meetings. Fill out a request to speak form and ask questions or give your opinion during Public Comments. People fought and died for your right to do so. Please, don’t be shy. People are interested in what you have to say.
4. Learn how to request documents on the issues which affect you or that you are curious about. The LA Times offers a posting site for public documents. Or, email them to our website: email@example.com.
5. Talk to family, friends and neighbors. Invite them to come with you to meetings and pass along information you have learned to them. There are people all over California ready to share information.
6. The City Attorney, Peter Thorson, is there to represent you. He has a very nice office at the new Civic Center and you pay $800,000.00 yearly or more for his services. Use this extremely expensive employee to help you know what’s going on. Request documents!
The City Clerk’s office is a great resource. Susan Jones is the City Clerk, and she is there to assist you with your requests. Call her for information. Susan is a very nice and helpful person. The document request form is simple and can be completed online. Use this form to request any and all public records, for example; emails, contracts, proposals, salaries, etc.
Don’t hesitate, affect transparency through your action. It won’t be handed to you, you must insist.