We’ve spent a lot of time recently talking about our current Mayor and City Council and what they have done (or, in many cases, failed to do). Some of you have asked – what should we look for in a Mayor and a City Council representative?
Here are a few things that Mountaineers For A Better Community think are important in evaluating a Mayor and members of the City Council when it comes to their ability to serve the best interests of our entire community.
We borrow this phrase from the military. Take a look at our current representatives and let us know what you see. Are all of them there for the good of the community? Do they make every decision with the community’s best interests in mind? Are they there to serve the community. or to achieve personal gain?
From selfless service flows leadership. If a politician is selfleslly serving his or her community, then leadership comes naturally. Do they speak up in meetings? Do they ask tough, critical questions about the issue we are currently facing or the issues we will face in the future? Or do they sit back in their chair and vote along with everyone else?
Can they admit when they are wrong? Or do they blame others? We all make mistakes, and elected representatives are no different. Yet, those who hold office often have the hardest time admitting they made one. Do they dig in, become stubborn, and get emotional? Or can they be humble? Humility is a simple concept that’s tied to leadership and selfless service. Without humility, politicians stay in office for way too long – failing to recognize that there are others in the community who are better suited for the time and the position.
What’s their true motive behind holding office? Is it for the betterment of the community, or for the local clout, health insurance and car allowances? An elected representative’s integrity should keep him honest from the day he is elected until the day he steps down. You can judge his level of integrity by the decisions he makes along the way.
What’s their background? Have they served the community prior to putting their name on the ballot? Have they served on city and local boards, commissions, and organizations? Have they volunteered for city-wide groups – not just their personal church, but for the entire community? Do they donate both time and money and care to local established charities that serve the entire community? Have they been leaders in their career field?
Our town is becoming an increasingly diverse place. Can they talk to folks of all backgrounds, worldviews, and beliefs? Do they speak clearly so that others can understand them. Do they actually listen? Active communication is a two-way street. Can they engage with folks with whom they have disagreements, constructively and without emotion? Or do they lash out and shut down? Some current elected officials in Kings Mountain struggle with this very simple thing – to the point of not even shaking the hands of those with whom they disagree.
These are just a few… but they are critically important when we think about the handful of individuals who are making decisions that will affect all of our lives – and our city – for the next several decades. Go ahead and apply these principles to what you have seen from some of our locally elected officials? Do you like what you see?
The history of poor decision-making, lack of accountability, blame games, running for term after term after term… all hallmarks of someone who has lost their way and let the office cloud their judgement.
The filing period for the 2023 municipal elections is rapidly approaching – in early July. Once we know which of our long-term Council Members are filing for re-election (and the Mayor), we will dig into each one and apply these principles. It’s a basic test, but one that each person offering his or her name up as a representative should be able to pass.