Atwater’s Measure H is all about trust. While the City Council and local activists nitpick over how the measure defines the word “official,” they aggravate the distrust they facilitated. This is a reaction to the council’s disregard and redirection of restricted funds for water and sewer into the general fund. Measure H is a reaction to council’s failure to address declining revenues and declaration of a financial crisis and possible bankruptcy.
The problem is systemic dysfunction. At the council’s Feb. 10 meeting, activists pushed their definition. The council deferred a decision, and the Measure H committee members are again delayed from getting on task, and public trust is further degraded.
Atwater’s motto is “Community Pride – City Wide.” Where is it reflected in elected and activist leadership? Atwater needs reconciliation, jobs, economic flexibility, unifying of our ethnic diversity, fire equipment meeting ISO certification, pay for police officers at parity with other municipalities and leadership that encourages the finest from citizens.
Political brinkmanship on the part of City Council and local activists endangers the community. If Atwater is going to have a different future, it must do things differently today. Our rapidly changing and complex community must reject nepotism, cronyism and wrangling. Power struggles have to give way to collaboration, creativity and innovation.