"All negativity is an illusion created by the limited mind to protect and defend itself." -Ambika Wauters
Fire Starter wrote of Monica Silas' corrosive negativity which has placed the Village on the brink of oblivion. Her small minded vindictiveness kept her from seeing the true potential of our Village. Her single minded pettiness kept her from fulfilling the will of the people. And as a result, the voters sent her packing.
Now in contrast to Silas' "vision", attendees at the last Village of Johnson City board meeting for 2010 heard a different approach from a resident. a tireless booster for Johnson City, Julie Deemie challenged board members and citizens to live up to their responsibilities to provide the services for which we pay. She challenged our leaders to build up rather than tear down. And she appealed to Village leaders honor the will of the voters and stop the "slow motion dissolution". But why describe what she said? Here it is:
Earning the Public’s Trust
The decision that voters delivered in Nov. 2009 – rejecting the Dissolution Plan – should have served as a lesson to you. Instead the majority of this board has proceeded in 2010, as if the vote meant nothing, and the will of a vocal group of taxpayers has superseded all other voices of the village taxpayers and voters.
Johnson City’s leaders must do more to earn the public’s trust and involve them in the priority-setting process.
First, this calls for innovation and collaboration. The best ideas don’t come from the top down, rather they bubble up from people, neighborhoods and communities that have the greatest stake in the decisions that get made in your work sessions and these meetings.
Leaders should lead – but they also should listen. It’s time to engage in a real and regular conversation about what sort of Johnson City people want for their children and grandchildren. It’s time to find ways to begin this public dialogue.
The majority of Johnson City’s voters voted to keep their public services and village intact. You owe it to them to find ways to keep these services as a function of village government without compromising the safety of its residents and visitors. To simply “do away” with these departments or reduce them to inadequate levels, as you have allowed, is completely irresponsible and a risk to our families safety and well being. It appears that this board wants to wash your hands of this responsibility rather than working on creative solutions. Rumor says some of you have vendettas against these department or their employees. If this were the case then you would be sacrificing our safety for your personal gain. This would be proven as wrong doing and a clear violation of your own code of ethics as our leaders. The voters of Johnson City elected you to serve as their mayor and trustees not to act out of spite and revenge. You are obligated to serve the will of all Johnson City residents, not yours nor those who pressure you. You must be firm and move forward in a just and honorable manner in order to regain public trust.
We all must work together, government, residents, taxpayers and businesses. No single or select group of people is capable of making the proper decisions that will lead this village forward. You need to slow your course of actions, first earn back public trust by diminishing these rumors, and truly listen to the will of the people of this village. To accomplish this you must communicate to the people by publicizing board meetings, hosting public input meetings and through direct mail. Then and only then will residents of this village begin to trust that you intend to serve the properly and without bias. The Village of Johnson City will then begin to heal, make progress and begin seeking its true potential.
We, the residents and taxpayers need to feel secure in your motivations. I truly believe that each and every one of you has the potential to be a great leader. You hold the power to make lasting changes in our village. Listen to the will of the people: North side, South side, downtown, businesses, rich, poor, middle class, and then base your decisions with a pure heart and conscience for the good of all who reside here.
Well said Julie. If one or two Board members show the same sort of dedication to the Village as you do, the Village's future may be bright.
However, if Davis and Balles continue to follow Hannon's destructive path, there may be no stopping the dissolution of the Village. Once Hannon has stripped away all of the services, there will no longer be a need for a Village.
We must all rise up and challenge our representatives. Julie Deemie can not do it alone. Attend meetings. Ask questions. Demand answers.