Assembly District 2: Smalley: Work together, find common ground

  • By Hal Smalley
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:46am
  • Opinion

In this time in our country and state, when it seems we are encouraged to choose sides instead of working together, municipal elections and government can be seen in a hopeful light. It is an opportunity for elected officials to come together from a non-partisan standpoint, stand on the history of our area, examine our strengths as a borough, seek input from our shareholders and set goals, with measured ways to meet them. We can promote stability and focus on things that really matter in our local area.

As a borough and state, we find ourselves with serious financial challenges. For those of us who have been around for a long time, it should be reassuring to remember that we have had serious financial challenges in the past and have not only survived, but thrived. I have a tremendous respect for the voters and the citizens and their willingness to participate in good government. I am confident that we can work hard together for the sake of our borough. It’s time for the common sense, experience and competent leadership I will bring to the assembly.

Obviously, we will have to make choices about what we’d like to do as a borough, what we can do and how to do it. Finding creative ways to encourage citizen input is very important to me. Hearing public testimony at assembly meetings is one way, but is not always accessible to all citizens. I have always been, and will always be accessible and responsive to you. I think it is important for a better future for our borough, that each of us is invited to invest our time and our efforts. Your voice deserves to be heard and respected. My pledge is that I will represent you with energy and integrity, keeping in mind this amazing place we live and how important it is to protect what we love about our area for us and subsequent generations.

Government cannot solve all our problems. Good government can however, provide opportunities for people to come together and focus on solutions that can be shared by all interested persons, faith groups, non-profits etc. We have so many committed people in our communities who are already working very hard to make our community stronger and healthier. We are feeding the hungry, building houses, sheltering domestic violence victims, providing treatment for substance abuse etc. We are doing these things together, as a community. We are working with each other in many ways and should be very proud of our collective commitment.

There is never a single answer. I do not presume to have all the answers, but I know that each one of us can make a difference. Anyone running for office who says they will make specific changes is not recognizing that it is a collaborative effort. I will be 1 of 9 assembly members. The only way we can get to a better place is by working together, finding common ground and solutions to the things that really matter to us as a local government.

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