Monday, April 2, 2012

Policy and Proceedure

It is funny but when you are "Independent" and not affiliated with either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party and you are the mayor, you are held to a much higher standard than any of your predecessors ever were. Expectations of your achievements are greater. Since this is a presidential election year the daggers are already starting to emerge. The Democrats are already questioning what I have done in two and a half years. I was told that I am a good ribbon cutter but I have done nothing policy wise. My reply was quick and to the point. "Do you think we would have Internet access to commission agendas, police reports or the ability to pay water bills and fines online? What about increasing recycling efforts, the Welcome Dayton plan, municipal employee appreciation week, a push for housing and more entertainment downtown? Have you noticed a change in the way some of our media outlets are reporting the news? How about GE Aviation? I suspect they would be anywhere else but Dayton had I not been elected in 2009." None of this took new policies or rewriting old ones. After all a policy is a piece of paper that outlines what should happen and often it gets in the way of real progress. In 2009 Dayton was called a dying city. Two years later it is a progressive city. Just because I don't brag about my role in many of these changes does not mean that I didn't have some role to play. In most cases the role is simply to influence and inspire others to do their very best at making positive things happen. I focus on results and not who gets the credit. Right now in Dayton I would say that we are getting results. Policy and procedure will never generate quick results. Taking action does. So the next time I hear that I have done nothing around policy, I can say that people who focus on devising policy before taking action end up being caretakers. I am simply a producer of results. Besides, policy is easier to develop around results versus speculation!