By Roger Westman, DuPont
On November 5th voters within DuPont will determine who will occupy four council positions. Councilmember Westman has made the following statements about his perceptions of DuPont’s future:
I look forward to continue serving the citizens of DuPont as one of your local council representatives. The city currently is facing many challenges especially in finances, providing emergency medical services and building citizen trust in their local government. These issues, together with concerns about future impact of property development, preservation of our historical assets, expanding citizen involvement in government and protection of the environment will have an influence upon what DuPont will look like in the future. With citizen involvement a mature, experienced, and community oriented city council should be able to provide thoughtful and acceptable approaches in dealing with these issues .
More specifically, I am hopeful future councils will hold a very cautious position on city finances especially when discussions are about new levies, taxes or budget expenses. Our present property tax rate must be protected from those who wish to increase the amount as a “budget fix” to departmental spending. Additionally, we as a community should review our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) which are supported by the EMS property taxes. In my opinion our city needs to evaluate how these funds are being spent and provide 100% funding for a cost-efficient Advanced EMS delivery system. Other than a possible EMS tax increase, additional funding sources and cost reduction efficiencies need to be identified to provide other budgeted city services.
In conclusion, all resident stakeholders (citizens and business owners) together with council should be engaged in developing a collaborative future vision for the city with clearly defined priorities. Broad-based interviews, focus groups, advisory ballots, surveys, and town hall meetings could be used to gather citizen input-information for determining and introducing courses of action. The citizens are the true decision-makers; not council, not the mayor, not me, and not the staff.
Again on November 5th the voters will decide their choice of who will represent them at the local level.