The citizens of Salida are entitled to a government that addresses growth, housing, betterment of our economy, and maintenance of our small-town character and quality of life. Achieving this moving forward calls for good governance.
Good governance requires trust of government by the community. Trust flows from open, two-way communications between elected officials and the people. A stable, qualified, city administration is a product of good governance.
With good governance, legal disputes and legal costs remain low. Civility and productive collaboration prevail. The interests of the public are served. Dialog between the people and their elected officials is the rule, not the exception.
The last year and a half has seen an acceleration in disharmony and bickering at Salida City hall. Blame and finger pointing are routine. Everything that has gone wrong is blamed on prior city officials and staff, or on the prior city attorney. These trends are signs that good governance is lacking. The results can be seen by everyone. In particular:
- Critical city employees have been resigning faster than replacements can be hired. In 18 months, Salida is on its 4th city administrator, its 3rd community development director, and it is in the process of finding and hiring its 3rd finance director and its 2nd a deputy city clerk. The City of Salida currently has only two department heads left with over three years of experience. Institutional knowledge and expertise are lost. This has an impact on employee moral as well as the reputation of our city, which makes staffing of our government even more difficult.
- Our legal costs have sky-rocketed. Our previous city attorney, Karl Hanlon was paid under $401,800 in the last 39 months of his tenure. Our current city attorney, Ben Kahn, has been paid almost exactly that amount in less than 16 months! $401,194! That’s an increase to over $25,000 per month from less than $10,500.
- Our elected officials have been obsessed with attacking the NRCDC and the Vandaveer Ranch. This has cost the city not just the $150,000 plus in legal fees, but millions in value and much lost opportunity for achieving the long term goals of the community.
Certain components of governance have been issues with in the City of Salida. These are:
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