TO THE EDITOR:
As past Mayors of the City of Farmington City Council and a former School Board President, we have deep concerns about a development in this year’s city council election. As you may know, three positions on the five-person City Council will be filled this November.
For the first time in our City’s history a “slate” of three candidates is running as a “block,” which we believe is a serious threat to the vigor and energy of a balanced council and the transparent perspective our council has maintained for decades. Perhaps our most serious concern is that should this group get elected it may result in the kind of dysfunction which has plagued other local councils or boards when partisanship or personal agendas have caused dissension and bitter conflicts, sharply deteriorating the effectiveness of the elected or appointed members.
The strength of our City Council is that it has always been non-partisan. That means we do not serve or function as Democrats, Republications, Conservatives or Progressives. Council members are supposed to serve as independent representatives of our residents and businesses. No City Council member should ever be obliged or beholden to one “consortium” leader who controls a majority of the Council votes.
Council members make decisions that have real and immediate impact on your taxes, operating policies, spending, city planning, city services, events and ordinances. A valuable and healthy City Council makes decisions based on comprehensive discussion from multiple viewpoints. A three-person consortium constitutes a majority, and has immediate and potentially detrimental impact on the integrity of the Council.
We need independent thinkers and experienced individuals. As you consider your vote in November, please educate yourself about the qualifications of all the candidates. Which candidates and incumbents have been actively involved in city committees? Which are active in downtown volunteerism? Which have served and collaborated to make our city stronger? Which candidates have an investment in Farmington’s success and are working for Farmington’s future rather than their own? Which candidates have a skill or experience that will add to Council’s deliberations?
Please examine the experience, capabilities, and contributions of all the candidates before reaching a voting decision. We urge you to carefully review the claims of Taylor, DeLind and Balk, as they appear to take personal and unearned credit for the work of Council, our Downtown Development Authority and our Chamber of Commerce. We believe candidates, running as a three-person slate, form a serious threat to the future direction of Farmington and our small town character.
Tom Buck, Past Mayor
Arnie Campbell, Past Mayor
Pamela Green, Past School Board President
Bill Galvin, Past Mayor
Jim Mitchell, Past Mayor