I recently read an editorial by David Brooks of the New York Times about the poor leadership from our national government. We have been and continue to be a great nation but we are seeing leaders that focus on cynicism and resentment and their on self-worth rather than the economy, good foreign policy and taking care of the problems we face within our communities.
I agree with a lot of his comments, especially the statement that the public does not trust any level of government. City leaders, however, are doing the things most important to the people who make up this nation. Water, sewer, transportation, recreation and many other services are expected to function without failure every single day. City leaders ensure those expectations are met, and that the services provided meet the needs of their communities.
These local leaders do the right thing every day with few exceptions. Our future is held in the hands of local elected officials and the business people who care about the people in their communities. They want to do the right things; sometimes, particularly when it comes to following the laws and regulations for local governments, they need help in knowing what the “right thing” is.
At the GMA Convention, we had a record number of people in municipal training classes to attest to the willingness of city officials to better prepare themselves for the leadership required to continue making our nation great. We must acknowledge and applaud the leaders who recognize that additional training is needed to address the everyday demands of city government, as well as the growing social problems facing our cities.
Within the training classes and throughout the halls of the Trade Center, city officials spoke candidly and sincerely about how they can tackle the monumental social issues they see playing out in communities across the nation. I am convinced we will see a more focused approach to being good neighbors and friends regardless of age, race, gender or religious affiliation.
City leaders have been on the frontline of problems and opportunities so many times that it seems to be a foregone conclusion that the city will handle it all. I am so proud of the people leading our cities and the pride they take in their communities. GMA is here to help with the resources and services to foster the movement for a better state and nation.