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Qualifications for Lewisville City Council (Updated)

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2011/1/27 10:30:00 (2846 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowNow that Lewisville City Councilman Lathan Watts has announced he will not run for re-election, I've been giving some thought into what I'd like to see for his successor. As we get more information about possible candidates, and look back over the past years at past candidates and officeholders, it has become clear to me that it would help the discussion to lay out some framework on what types of qualifications would make a good Councilman. Then when the candidates start to announce, we can examine them in light of these rather than the more squishy criteria of who we like, and who is most popular.

So here's my current list of what I consider to be qualifications:

• Has high intellectual capacity, and able to look beyond the superficial and quickly understand the nuance and complexity of the issues that face government.
• Has lived in the City of Lewisville a sufficient length of time to understand the demographics, the trends, the history, and the shared values of our citizens. Definitely not less than 5 years, but preferably more than 10.
• Has an up-to-date voter registration and a good history of voting in all elections, especially local ones, which evidence a long-term concern for local issues.
• Has demonstrated leadership by serving on one or more of the City's boards or commissions.
• Has demonstrated commitment to the City by volunteering for, or supporting one or more of the City's non-profit or civic groups.
• Is more dedicated to the City of Lewisville than to a political party or ideology.
• Has consistently followed City Council actions, attended meetings, workshops, budget hearings, and retreats.
• Is not using the office for personal achievement or gain, or as a stepping stone to higher office.
• Understands the relationship between city services, property values and quality of life.
• Demonstrates compassion for mankind by charity.
• Lives to a high standard of ethics in all that they do.
• Pays their taxes
• Puts the health and safety of the citizens above all else.
• Capable of listening to multiple points of view, and ensuring that all concerns are heard and addressed.
• Dedicated to seeking truthful information.
• Doesn't have character flaws or a severe or untreated mental illness that would interfere with or distract from accomplishing the City's business.
• The candidate should not have an axe to grind. In other words, he or she should not be running because of a strong feeling or passion about one issue, or because the council ticked you off about something. The person MUST be able to put single issues behind them and focus on all the other issues that will come before them without having their judgment clouded by holding grudges over votes on the issue they feel strongest about. (Borrowed from Ken, below)
• Has the ability to understand the differences between local, state, and federal government issues, and work within the scope and constraints imposed on local government from above. (Borrowed from BC - via Facebook)
• Must be honest and truthful, and hold truthfulness as a strong personal value. Liars have no business in a position of public trust. Honesty is paramount.


I fully understand that not every candidate is going to meet up to all of these. In fact, there's a good chance that no candidate will meet all of these. But I think we need to look at them all in that light and choose the best when the time comes. I reserve the right to add to this list.

What I absolutely and unequivocally reject as criteria for electing a Councilman:
• Race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference
• Religious affiliation, church attendance, or lack of affiliation. Anyone can profess a belief, but actions speak louder than words. It is at worst bigoted, and at best mentally lazy to vote for someone because they follow the same theology as you do, or vote against them because they believe or worship differently than you.
• Political party affiliation or activism. Local government is non-partisan for a reason. Partisan issues typically have no outlet at the local level because local government is constrained by higher government. Further, hyper-partisanship is detrimental because it polarizes and divides people who need to be working together on solutions that satisfy a broad consensus.


What I think are disqualifiers:
• Being a liar. Someone who will lie for you will lie to you. There is no value to lying even when one thinks the end justifies the means, since a liar usually lies to himself about the end and the means.
• Having a recent or serious criminal record or pending criminal case. A lot of people make dumb decisions when they're young, or do something minor like get a traffic ticket, and that's not what I'm talking about.
• Running for personal or business gain. If you're in it to pad your resume, or get publicity for yourself or your business, then save everyone's time and find something else to do. You need to care about the City.
• Being a racist or a bigot. There is no place in government at all for anyone who looks down on people for their race, ethnicity, color, gender, or sexual orientation.


What are your thoughts? I want to hear them. Leave a comment.


Related Links:
- The Public School Trustee's Pledge

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Poster Thread
kjudk1955
Posted: 2011/1/27 11:10  Updated: 2011/2/24 16:26
Guest Columnist (Verified User)
Joined: 2007/4/26
From: Lewisville, TX
Posts: 87
 Re: Qualifications for Lewisville City Council
Great list! I especially like your last rejected criteria about partisanship. I have found over the years that party lines blur when it comes to local issues. As one who is generally considered liberal, I have found myself working side by side with some of the most conservative people I know. Conversely, I have been at odds on some issues with those I usually agree with on state and federal issues.

I would add only one more item to your qualifications list:

- The candidate should not have an axe to grind. In other words, he or she should not be running because of a strong feeling or passion about one issue, or because the council ticked you off about something. The person MUST be able to put single issues behind them and focus on all the other issues that will come before them without having their judgment clouded by holding grudges over votes on the issue they feel strongest about.
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Poster Thread
bullbuster
Posted: 2011/1/28 11:12  Updated: 2011/1/28 11:12
Registered User (Unverified)
Joined: 2010/3/4
From:
Posts: 20
 Re: Qualifications for Lewisville City Council
Excellent!!! Bless you my sons!!!
Bet Ken recalls one mayor whose first actions upon assuming office were an attempt to begin repaying favors to supportive members of her chosen party. Her partisan actions were challenged by a citizen and the mayor later agreed that her attempted actions were inappropriate. Ah! The good ole days.
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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2011/1/28 22:33  Updated: 2011/1/29 12:54
 Re: Qualifications for Lewisville City Council
My Comments?...hhmm...let me think...

TJ GILMORE! VOTE YES!~ I'll put a hundred signs in my yard my friend!
Reply

Poster Thread
WhosPlayin
Posted: 2011/2/24 14:41  Updated: 2011/2/24 14:41
Editor
Joined: 2008/12/12
From:
Posts: 3858
 Racism is a disqualifier
Most human beings end up with at least some subconscious prejudice. It's just the way the human brain works, because we're pattern recognizers. When people see patterns, such as stereotypes playing out, our brains subconsciously try to complete the pattern, whether or not it's empirically true, and without regard to any sort of morality.

Normal decent human beings with a basic level of maturity are able to suppress the lazy reliance on these patterns and use logic, empathy, and morality to guide their interactions with their fellow man. Most good people recoil at the thought of discrimination against others based on aspects of their person that they can't control. As Dr. King said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Racists and bigots consciously embrace the patterns of stereotypes and use them as a crutch. My theory is that many of these people have an inferiority complex so severe that it makes them feel better about themselves if they can have someone or some group to hate. It allows them to focus on the perceived shortcomings or inferiority of others rather than to deal with their own faults. Then again, a sociopath is incapable of empathy, and some racists may fall into that category.

Many otherwise good people will at some point in their life allow some overt prejudice to take hold, but many times maturity and life experience or a spiritual awakening will turn them around. The late Robert Byrd was one example of a turnaround.

So, even though it seems like this could go without saying, I'm adding this as a disqualifier to serve on City Council. Having a racist incident or thought pattern in one's distant past is one thing, but to be actively and overtly racist, using racial slurs or talking in derogatory terms about minorities is intolerable in a position of leadership. Voters ought to pay special attention to this one.
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Poster Thread
rbiceo
Posted: 2011/2/24 23:03  Updated: 2011/2/24 23:03
Joined: 2011/2/22
From: Mckinney, TX
Posts: 3
 Re: Racism is a disqualifier
Sad to even have to mention it. You are absolutely right Steve.
Reply


Other articles
2014/7/22 23:30:00 - Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance
2014/7/20 23:54:58 - Monday Morning Update
2014/7/20 11:02:51 - Take the Win in Iran
2014/7/19 7:35:38 - Combating Post-Traumatic Stress Event in Denton Saturday
2014/7/14 20:50:00 - Lewisville City Council Adopts Vision 2025 Plan
2014/7/6 22:00:00 - Photos from Lake Park on Independence Day
2014/7/6 10:40:00 - Updated: Council to Consider School Zones for LHS Campuses on Main and FM 3040
2014/7/6 9:50:17 - Sunday Morning Update - Independence Day Weekend Edition
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2014/7/3 11:00:00 - Area Independence Day Celebrations and Fireworks


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