Recently, Councilwoman Gentiana Brahimaj indicated she would propose a different path to how non-emergency decisions are made by the Town Council. This should be music to resident’s ears as a common concern is the quantity and speed with which significant changes have occurred, changes that occurred with little to no resident input. It has also caused, from my point of view, other priorities to take a back seat to feel-good measures that are pet projects by groups that have influence and access to members of the town council.
No ordinance is going to have 100% buy-in but it is becoming increasingly clear that a new administration did not usher in a fundamentally different way of conducting business - it just changed the players. It is also clear that change cannot be dependent on who is in charge - a different set of rules holding Town Council Members accountable is clearly needed.
The municipal building, police in schools and the current ban on plastics that drew hard lines and worked to create a polarized atmosphere where we viewed one another as adversaries instead of people with different points of view that could, in their own way, strengthen and enhance each of these initiatives. In my opinion, the latter two were completely divorced from relevant research and evidence. This needs to stop. Our community is being harmed by politicians who, from my perspective, view ordinances as a way of doling out favors to friends.
In the past, to my experience, most proposals for change were responded to by gaslighting and archeological digs by township attorneys friendly to the administration in power who presented technicalities that were easily resolvable as massive legal barriers. The problem has little to do with parties and ideology and more to do groups who want to use government to remain in power and, perhaps, use their positions for higher office or other perks.
Lastly, I was pleased to read how broad and vague Gentiana’s proposal was - it wasn’t a mandate. Rather, it was a call to other council members, residents and business owners to come to the table to solve a problem with their own perspective. I was also pleased to see it was presented to residents before a Town Council meeting.
This is a change that not only respects the resident but also moves us forward on policies we can all agree on or, at the very least, live with.
I hope Gentiana's fellow council members remain open to forging a new and better way forward for our community.