What does a city council member do?

June 8th, 2015 by Ken

Three young men, all in their 30’s, are running for the Olympia City Council as a team.  Under the banner of  “Olympia for All”  they are seeking election to two city council seats and the mayor’s position.

They are running on a platform of social change – – a $15 minimum wage, police accountability, urban planning and more public involvement in government affairs.

These are all laudable goals.

But, are they the major responsibility of a city council?

City elected officials have many responsibilities which center primarily on making the city a safe and functioning  place in which to live and work.  City council members develop plans to maintain city streets.  Nothing drives their constituents crazy faster than ill-maintain streets, non-functioning intersections and traffic jams.

They develop plans to deliver clean, safe drinking water.   They develop plans to collect and treat sewage and human waste.   They are responsible for the health of those who depend on city services.

They plan for, buy and develop parks for the use of citizens of all ages.   They preserve and protect the city’s history.

They also work closely with business-owners who need safe streets and sidewalks, protection from those who wish them ill and from vagrants who stop customers from visiting their places of business.

And why do they need to work with the business community?  Because it is the business community which generates the sales tax which allows the city to deal with the problems associated with living in a city.

I wish these three young men well.   I just wish they had a better understanding of the purpose, duties and responsibilities of  a city council member.

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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