To the editor:
Over the last few months I have taken it upon myself to meet with residents, city employees, past leaders, current leaders and many associations, clubs and groups to learn about the issues facing our city. While these issues are diverse, there are some common underlying themes: we would like to live in a community with strong property values, low crime, friendly residents and a balanced mix of attributes that offer a bit of old fashioned family values coupled with an innovative and progressive business environment. In order to help our city reach its full potential, we need a strong team with a clear objective and fresh perspective who can put aside our past differences and begin moving forwardtogether. Here are some key areas I believe need to be addressed:
First, we must improve our City's image. The days of calling names and strong arming are long gone. Our city needs an ambassador who can build the necessary relationships across our bridges and market our city for all the wonderful things we have to offer. We teach our children good sportsmanship yet at times fail to be the role model. The Mayor should not only be a great leader but someone who leads by example.
Second, we need to do what we can to prepare our city for long-term economic substantiality. Simply raising taxes or "tightening our belt" does not address our dependency on the fluctuating market value of our homes. It is financially irresponsible to invest your entire 401K into one company so why would we want to gamble our city's future on property taxes alone? Having the foresight to recognize the tools available to us and using them to develop a steadier means of revenue will allow the city to consistently create a workable plan to continue moving us forward. While we may not like all the "tools" available to us, we cannot just sit back and do nothing. We must create solutions and take a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to our economic sustainability Accountability is crucial and it starts at the top. Our leaders must be held accountable in order for our city to thrive.
Third, we need to work with our current and future businesses to move along growth, not hinder it. It means we begin looking for ways to work together, not ways to say "no."The City's Land Use and Development Regulations (LUDR) need to be overhauled. The Zucker Report confirmed what our local community has been stating: It is time learn from our past mistakes and create a new method which simplifies and streamlines where it can to encourage growth.
Finally, we need to continue to address issues affecting our quality of life. Whether it's making sure our police and fire are adequately equipped, conserving our precious resources, or building up our infrastructure to bring in new jobs to our city, we must work together.
I will be the first to tell you I don't have all the answers. That attitude is not what our city needs. What we do need is someone who will not only listen but will objectively look through the chaos to search out the solutions. We need to start thinking of how something can be accomplished as opposed to just saying "no." Our mayor must be an individual who will listen to their fellow council members, learn what they feel the citizens need, and effectively communicate those needs to the City Manager. The Cape needs someone with a fresh perspective and the ability to adapt to our ever-changing economic and business climate- both good and bad. With a Master's in Business Administration and a long history of solving complex problems in the corporate environment, I can and want to be that new outlook.
Marni Sawicki, MBA