You know how you see athletes interviewed after an important victory and they are asked how they feel? Their answer is often something like, “It hasn’t sunk in yet“. That is exactly how I felt last month when we learned the election results from the city elections in Enterprise and it lasted a good week at least for me.
Happy and Sad
I was both happy and excited for Enterprise and the new city councilmen and sad that Milton Shipman fell 48 votes short, by my count, of a runoff in the mayoral election. Thank you and congratulations to the challengers who stood up accepted the challenge to run and serve. Thank you Milton for running a clean campaign and taking the high road. It is very difficult to unseat an incumbent in a city election who has more funding than many running for statewide office.
Well done Enterprise!
Well done voting citizens of Enterprise! Thanks to your willingness to stand up and let your voices be heard with your vote you have changed the makeup of the city council. You now have three new members that promise to be more transparent and more collaborative with their constituents. It will be your job to make sure they follow through on these promises.
Transparency and Accountability
As for the transparency I am not sure what form that will take, whether there will be more discussion at council meetings so those who attend can understand better what is being discussed and voted on or not. It could take the form of Facebook posts to keep their constituents informed and also get their feedback, or town hall meetings, a blog, a letter to the editor in the paper or some combination of all of those and others not mentioned. If you don’t see the transparency you expect you should let them know.
You, the citizens, are their accountability partners.
I do know it take at least three votes for anything to be approved at a city council meeting so you will have three new voices voting so the “We’ve always done it this way” or “This is the way we do it” reasoning will not be enough to move an issue forward.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations
Don’t misunderstand or have an unrealistic expectation that this is a new voting bloc that will just oppose anything the mayor proposes. I do expect there will be some items which they will agree with the mayor. On those they don’t agree with there will be questions asked and if they don’t agree they will speak up with their reason for opposition and their vote. We might actually get to see if that right side of the voting box in the council chamber works. I hear the bulbs are going to be checked.
Keep in mind these are three different men with different experiences and ideas who ran for their own individual reasons so I don’t expect even they will agree on everything. What I do expect is they all will express their ideas, formed by their experience and your input when possible, so the best choice can be made in each issue they face over the next four years. I do expect they will be transparent so we will understand more of the reasoning behind the votes. This will be a huge improvement over the non-informative “All ayes Mr. Hicks” we have seen on practically all votes over the past several years.
I can say without any hesitation they would all appreciate your prayers. They are all new to this role and will face many challenges due so knowing folks are praying for them to make wise decisions will be appreciated. I pray regularly for all the city leaders to make decisions in the best interest of those they serve not their own self-interest and plan to continue. Join me.
Community Town Hall with the Superintendent
On another related note for those interested in the future of the Enterprise City Schools you have an opportunity on Tuesday night at 5:30 to participate in a town hall meeting with the Superintendent of Schools.
Community Town Hall Meeting with the Superintendent
~ Informal Q & A Session ~
All are welcome and invited to attend!
Tuesday, September 20th
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Central Office Board Room
At this event, as I understand it, anyone can ask questions. If you have questions you want answered or to make known what you might have, to date, been unable to share publicly this is your opportunity to do so.
UPDATE: Since this meeting is in the past now here is how it was covered by local news media.
Southeast Sun – Hundreds turn out for ECS town hall meeting
Enterprise Ledger – Superintendent answers questions at town hall
I understand the superintendent’s contract is up for renewal and will be discussed at the next regular school board meeting on September 27th at 6:00 PM and the feedback received at this meeting will play a role in that discussion.
UPDATE: Dr. Wright’s contract was not on the agenda and not discussed by the board at this meeting. However there were two folks, one a parent and one a teacher, who spoke about the contract at that meeting. You can see the WDHN news coverage of this meeting and the contract here. Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal
If you are not satisfied with her performance and don’t let them know they will assume you are. Don’t let them make that assumption if it is not true. Apparently she has sent an email to teachers asking for all those who have experienced “positive growth” to attend both meetings for support.
I encourage to you all to attend both meetings if at all possible to support your students and teachers. You can speak at the regular board meeting on the 27th but you have to complete one of their “Request to Appear Before Board” forms at least 24 hours in advance to speak at this one.
I cannot express the importance of this town hall meeting any better or more passionately than Pam McQueen did in a Facebook post on Friday, so I am including that below. Please read it and respond with your participation.
Keep standing up Enterprise. Enterprise works because you care enough to be involved and you work. You ARE making a difference! Don’t stop now!
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 09/18/2016