If I were Mayor of Canton, Ohio (yikes)

First order of business as Mayor would be to reduce city expenses, without detrimental impact to services.

I would immediately take a pay cut for the first term in office.  Placing the money back into the City General Fund, or using it to help pay for certain initiatives mentioned in this post, or later on.  I have not looked into how much the Mayor of the City of Canton “earns” per year, but I know that I get by on significantly less than $50,000 a year.  Whatever the pay is, I’d be more than happy to give half, or more of it back to the City.  IF I did a good enough job to be re-elected, perhaps I’d take 2/3 of the full pay in the second term, and I’d work extra hours researching all sorts of ways to improve the City, balance the budget, and bring jobs to Canton throughout my tenure as Mayor.  If the people were happy with the results of my leadership, I would then take the full salary as a reward for a job well done in a theoretical third term, and as incentive to keep improving the quality of life for all the people of the City in a .

I would get rid of all but the most essential government Vehicles, and all Cell Phones.  Every vehicle is an expense, they depreciate, they need costly maintenance, and allowing employees to take them home?  Unless they are leaving from their home to go inspect a building or something  on their side of town… no taking the cars home.  Only when there would be mileage and/or gas savings.  Logging mileage would be required, stop or deter theoretical abuse of the system.  For cell phones, I would perhaps look into a discount plan, but the workers would pay for their own plan, then perhaps the city would kick in the difference for the “unlimited minutes” or whatever.  Probably some good savings to be had there.


$6200 per car per year! yikes!

I would also require that every employee in the City Government, from the upper ranks such as the Traffic Engineer down to even the Street Department Workers, Police Officers, and even Meter Maid(s) come up with at least 1(one) idea in every calendar month for saving money, or improving the quality of life in the city.  More efficient patrol patterns, reducing paper usage, increasing recycling, entering a collective supply ordering cooperative with other cities in the region, etc, to get discounts (if not already done).  Perhaps paying bonuses of 10% of the amount of money saved, we’d have to wait and see.

Then as far as I could manage, no layoffs and no firings (you know, within reason).  I would keep all current employees as long as they were good workers and willing to work hard with me regardless of differences and cared deeply for the City and its residents.  There are many, many unemployed people out there that NEED a job, ANY job, and a lot of them have college degrees, and might be able to help turn the city around.  I would not hire or give contracts to friends or colleagues (sorry guys and gals), let alone political donors.  Unless they were somehow world class geniuses and would work cut-rate for the City (and even then I’d still have plenty of oversight on myself to guard against any improper influence in either direction).

On top of that, I would work with City Council, to do what’s best for the people of Canton.  No political fighting, no name calling, I would not promise them anything, except to work my hardest in cooperation with them at making the City a better place.  No trading votes for each others’ proposals, or political deal making.  Find out all the facts on an issue, and then make the best decision for the citizens.  If City Council refused to cooperate in helping pass the much needed improvements, I would go directly to the voters and argue my case, explaining it in detail, and implore them to lean hard on their council members.  Many of the proposals I’d put forth would be common sense, and easy to understand, so I wouldn’t anticipate any argument or dragging of the feet from City Council at all.

All of the employees would be subject to at least one twice-yearly review, be given clear objectives, and the support, oversight, and most importantly, freedom to meet those objectives.  Whether it be reducing delinquencies on tax and other bills, or providing more efficient and necessary services to the community, continuous verifiable improvement would be the mission.  All of the workers would be held personally accountable, all the way up through the ranks.

I would investigate how to get a program(s) or Grant to get started and help guide people through the process of founding their own small businesses.   Because 10% of this country can’t just sit around and wait for something to be done.  We all have to try to do something positive to help our friends and neighbors get back on their feet.  Jobs can be grown from our most precious resource, our people and their ideas!

Everyone wants their street repaved, but that would not be happening.  Needs most gets first.  Triage for the City’s main arteries, then we work on a comprehensive plan to get everything that’s been neglected back into shape by age and deterioration, as well as traffic load figured in.  For safety and efficient traffic flow improvements, we’d definitely look into synchronizing more traffic lights, extending yellows in dangerous intersections (even a half-second can result in decreased violations and accidents, and these results do NOT revert back to dangerous conditions “once people learn the new light timing”, as well as using the motorcycle cops to chase down egregious red light runners at the worst intersections).  The best way to do this may be by using discreet cameras (concerned citizens could volunteer to record and identify the worst intersections for violations using their own equipment, after the amber signal adjustment of course) and then tally the violations, and submit the footage, and we would start enforcing the law.  Deploying mobile speed bumps in neighborhoods where people speed and cut through is one idea, as they pop up if a motorist is going too fast in a residential neighborhood.

Well, crap, I don’t wanna get carried away and shoot all my ideas out at once.  That’s a wrap for today, check back tomorrow or Monday for whichever issue I decide to recommend action on next.  Should be interesting.

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Friday, March 20th, 2009 Politico No Comments

I wanna ratchet up the vitriol…

I wanna ratchet up the vitriol… I want my words to sear the flesh of my enemies, real or imagined, dialed down so tight they burn with the white hot fury of my very own brand of genius.

Stamp. Stamp. Stamp.

Read anything written by H.L. Mencken, The words of comic book character Spider Jerusalem, this is what I wish I could turn out every day, and I hope that I’m working towards it as I type.  I’m sure it’s going slowly, but as long as progress is continually made, I guess I have nothing to complain about.

Don’t suffer the demagogues and boondoggles, call everyone out, including yourself, on half-truths, and destroy the bald-faced liars.

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Monday, January 26th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments