Graham Crawford's holiday wish list for what he wants from the mayor of this city.
By Graham Crawford
Published December 14, 2011
At this time of year, it's not unusual for us to think about holiday cheer and new year's resolutions, about things getting done and things getting better. So, in the spirit of of the holidays, and within the context of all of the noise created by our current mayor's multi-messaged obfuscation, here's a short list of 10 things I want for Christmas from the leader of my city. This city. Any leader. All the time.
I want the mayor of my city to:
1. Have a fully articulated, communicated and actionable vision for Hamilton that serves as a touchstone and inspires all of its citizens, investors and potential citizens and potential investors to believe in Hamilton's current strengths and future potential; and to refer to that vision on a constant basis to make decisions and to assess progress and success.
2. Personally champion high-value, long-term, causes, projects and decisions that support and contribute directly to the achievement of the stated vision, both when it's easy to do so and particularly when it's difficult to do so; and to demonstrate that championing in public at meetings, speeches, presentations, traditional media, new media, in a truthful and inspiring manner.
3. Always view citizen feedback, both positive and constructive, as an opportunity to gain perspective and to advance the achievement of the stated vision; and to take that feedback professionally and not personally; and to treat all citizens with respect, dignity and compassion.
4. Always put principles ahead of personal popularity or personal expediency; and to know the difference between a project and a priority, between a plan and a vision, between leading and misleading.
5. Use the Office of the Mayor to help channel citizens' energy (time, effort, money, spirit) toward a higher purpose - fostering a better community for all; and to demonstrate personally and to promote selflessness over selfishness by all of Council, and by all throughout the community.
6. Demonstrate integrity, humility, and forthrightness in all dealings, not because it is expedient to do so, but because these behaviours honour the position of mayor and the trust citizens have placed in you.
7. Engage all media, traditional and new, to help explain, position and advance ideas, decisions and opportunities to help ensure all citizens know, understand, believe, and participate in the future of their city throughout your term(s) in office.
8. Do what you say you will do, and when you find that you have to change your mind, acknowledge that change and provide a clear, solid rationale for it; and to always make decisions based on the greater good for all citizens of Hamilton; and encourage Councillors, senior staff, and all employees of and suppliers to the City of Hamilton to do the same.
9. Encourage and assist others to work diligently, every single day, to achieve the stated vision in all decisions they are required to make; and to make adjustments and refinements as necessary to ensure the vision is achieved; and to celebrate progress by and success of those individuals and teams who have contributed to its achievement.
10. Demonstrate openly, loudly, and convincingly your deep love of Hamilton in all that you do, say, write, and feel, no matter how difficult it may be to do so.
Some will say I'm asking too much, that I'm greedy. Others will say I not asking enough, that I'm settling for too little.
No matter your view, my short list represents the very least I should expect from the person who made the decision to become the elected leader of my beloved Hamilton.
Is it really too much to ask?
Please feel free to add your own wishes.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
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