Mayor’s Column
by Mayor Michael Gonnelli
Apr 20, 2014 | 1716 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Open honest government

A very important part of good government is open communication. The foundation of this administration is built on honesty and integrity, and it runs on an open door policy. The fundamental value of knowing what the community needs, requires, or even what it wants steers the direction the town moves into the future. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Clear communication is a strong tool for improving policy and letting residents know what is planned for the community. In the past there have be concerns about political backlash for speaking up. However, the days of fear, intimidation and retaliation are long gone. In fact, we encourage residents to speak up and voice concerns or offer ideas. We rely on your input to better serve the community. If you have something to say, we want to hear it. If you have a concern, we want to resolve it. If you have an idea, we want to know it. There is no retaliation for asking a legitimate question. There is no retaliation, period. We need to learn from you.

The most effective way to have open communication is for you to pick up the phone, send an email, write a letter or stop by. Come to a council meeting, see and hear what the town is doing. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m. in town hall. If you have a suggestion for a new program or want to discuss strategy for an existing program, don’t hesitate to let us know. On the other side, if there is something that needs to be addressed, feel free to bring it to our attention. Let us know. There have been many important issues amicably resolved when people talk to each other. Many programs have also been implemented and developed through an idea from a resident.

There is no perfect community, but there is a pathway that leads to improvement when people work together for the greater good. Blogs, and anonymous letters are ill-effective and stir further negative criticism. It is difficult to respond to an anonymous letter. Without accurate details and a specific person to discuss an issue with, the problem tends to snowball, growing larger until it cultivates rumors and false facts. Blogging typically undermines communication and could cause potential harm to others. That’s not how we do business. We want to hear directly from you.

By working together, we can make good things happen. When we communicate with each other, we build trust, and trust is the cornerstone to success. As Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” We are more than a community, we are friends and family. Call my office at (201) 330-2005 anytime to discuss things you would like to see happen in our town. My door is always open. We look forward to hearing from each of you.

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