Forget platforms, let’s focus on what we love
It is political platform season. To me, this is worse than the cold and flu season.
As soon as people hear that you are running for city council, the first question they ask is … “What is your platform?”
I truly dislike the question and the feeling it gives me. It sounds cold. I think our community is better than a platform. Pushing a platform takes away from the things that I find important. I would rather help protect the quality of life that we all enjoy rather than shove a political platform.
I was told by a college professor, “Your mind is like a bad neighborhood and you should never go there alone.” I take this advice very seriously.
Politicians spend a lot a time in their heads trying to sculpt the perfect words. They write a lot of letters. I like to spend my time listening to people. I have found that this allows more opportunity for solutions rather than just more words.
I find that people agree on most things when discussing something, respectfully.
I wish folks would ask “What are the things that compel you to run?” The answers are easy because there are so many. I believe it is important to preserve the things that we all treasure. It is important to create employment opportunities so we can afford to enjoy those treasures. It is important to feel safe. It is important to protect our small town character and spirit. These key things are the heart of our small town.
Over the past 10 years, I have served our community on the Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission, Nevada County Transportation Commission, and the Grass Valley City Council.
The amount of things that I have learned about how government works (or doesn’t) has been worthwhile. But nothing has been as rewarding, or humbling, as seeing how our community comes together to overcome challenges and the enjoyment we share when we celebrate our successes.
The past few years have been tough, but we are turning the page. We have streamlined the city’s finances, creating needed efficiencies. Revenue from property taxes and transient occupancy taxes are on the upward move. With the help of our county, state, and federal partners, we are weeks away from completing the most significant transportation project in western Nevada County in decades, the Dorsey Drive interchange. We have hired five new police officers and three new firefighters. We continue to eradicate drug houses in our neighborhoods by working with our neighbors, police, and county narcotics task force.
We as a community have accomplished these, together.
There is still more to do. We need to stay committed to the plan with Measure N funds and continue to repair our roads, and increase police and fire support. More importantly, we need to continue our efforts to boost lost sales tax revenue in order to continue with these community services, once Measure N funds cease.
We need to bridge the gap between our retirement community and our young working families. We need to ensure that our young families have wealth-creating opportunities. We accomplish this by recruiting businesses that want to be part of our pinecone lifestyle, and willing to help preserve the reasons that our retirees have brought their wealth to our community.
We need to develop stronger relationships with our community partners to address the homeless and transient concerns. This is a growing problem and cannot be addressed through policing alone. We need to start a campaign that encourages our giving community to support our local charitable organizations that provide services to the homeless rather than panhandlers. We need to ensure that the money is going toward solutions and not alcohol and drugs.
While some work on building their platform, the community I love has been moving forward, working together, on the things that we find important.
With experience, we will continue to write our story. I want to say thank you to the citizens of Grass Valley for allowing me to share this experience with you as a council member and vice mayor. I ask that you allow me to continue working with you to build a stronger sense of community and pride.
Let’s forget about platforms for now and focus on the things we love and simply make them better. Please vote for me, Jason Fouyer, on Nov. 4.
Jason Fouyer, who lives in Grass Valley and is currently the vice mayor, is a candidate for the Grass Valley City Council.
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