Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thoughts on a Dysfunctional City Government

Our city council here in Newport has abdicated its function and all the important questions are being decided by special interests, mostly business. It's appalling to see the stuff that is dealt with at city council meetings, what I call "housekeeping issues" that could well be delegated to somebody else, working with a set of guidelines. The city council should be involved with long-range vision about the well being of residents. They should have a grasp of large systems and social process. They should do their homework. They should be presenting challenging issues to the electorate to encourage civic participation. If the people don't come to them they should go to the people. They should be working on increasing funding by means other than selling our soul to big business. Instead they work hard on "keeping taxes low" which is essentially starving out the democratic process. And they should know how to do these things without resorting to consulting "experts". If they can't, they shouldn't run for public office. Don't tell me it's a lot of work for no pay. These are folks who are supposed to believe in hard work. And they're mostly retired. It's a myth that we have any control over our future here in Newport. The process is broken.---Diane Peel, Newport, Vermont


  1. Can you talk about some solutions you would like to put forward? Are you able to run for a City office?

  2. I once planned to, but have decided that the system has a way of warping people who become involved with it. I've decide it's better to work from the outside and encourage the electorate to become more involved in keeping the leadership honest.