City Hall — A New Approach to Leadership
I am going to do something that my opponent has shown no interest in doing, throughout his campaign. I have promised a government built around Communication, Collaboration, Commitment, and Community. I am going to lay out the beginning of a plan for your city government, going forward. My plans are based on a simple principle: this is your city — not the Mayor’s, not the Mayor’s friends’, not the City Council’s, not the City Attorney’s, not the city employees’, and not any special interest’s. So, all of my administration’s goals will be based on what is best for all of our citizens, with benefits to be as equally distributed as possible.
This is a great place to live and work
We are currently enjoying the benefits derived from Homewood’s success dating back several decades. Those successes put us in the position to make some major improvements in recent years. Just in the last few years we have spent over $100 million:
The Challenges Ahead
Our city is also currently dealing with a number of issues that will affect our future in major ways. The way your government deals with them will directly affect the city’s financial health, the success of our local businesses, our ability to grow economically, and ultimately your property values.
Among the challenges are:
A Prescription for Better Government
The problems listed above, as well as many other less serious issues, have been caused, or made worse by failures of our city government. The solutions start with both new leadership and new management at the top. A new Mayor who refuses to acknowledge these problems will certainly not fix them.
My plan will include:
Citizen Centered Focus
As leaders and city employees, our focus must always be on our citizens, not on our desires, our projects, or our initiatives. Every decision must be made to the benefit of our citizens; every dollar we spend is our citizens’ money; every development agreement is an agreement our citizens must live with; and every ordinance we pass directly affects the lives of our citizens.
Without remembering this focus every day we come to work, in every meeting, every phone call, every encounter with suppliers, contractors, consultants, developers, etc., it is too easy to think of our decisions as our own.
Collaboration and Leadership
The August 25th election represented the turning of a new page for Homewood. Our current Mayor is finishing 20 years of service to Homewood, during which the city has prospered. The voters decided they wanted a change. And after the Run-off on October 6th, the new Mayor must make that change real.
The Mayor and the City Council share responsibility for the welfare of our citizens and the direction of the city. Although each has different responsibilities, neither the Mayor nor the Council can fulfill their responsibilities without the other. I will do everything possible to create a collaborative environment in which we can successfully lead our city together.
I am a relationship builder who has the utmost respect for my employees, customers, and business alliance partners. Only five employees have left my company, in its 18 year history, because I know how to build a successful organization, based on mutual respect. I want to bring that same mutual respect to the Council/Mayor relationship, as well as the relationships among everyone at City Hall.
Since before my campaign began, I have said that I intend to bring in a City Manager/Administrator, to help manage the complexities of our 400+ employee government. The City Administrator would be responsible for many administrative and operational aspects of the government, including such things as coordinating activities among multiple departments, assisting department heads with more efficient systems and procedures, improving communications systems and strategies, handling economic development responsibilities, etc.
The City Administrator would be a resource not only to the Mayor but to the City Council, as well. The Council is made up of 11 members who serve on a part-time basis. Major projects need someone full-time to assist the Council in keeping up with the many “nitty-gritty” details that must be managed for such projects. The Council is also responsible for setting direction and creating our city’s ordinances which must be carried out by city personnel. New direction and new ordinances necessitate change. And change management is a very significant responsibility, one that should be overseen by the City Administrator, who would become a source of support to help assure that the Council’s work results in meaningful change.
Our current City Attorney has been with the city for 35 years, and we thank him for his many contributions to the city’s progress. Last month, though, our voters signaled a desire for change, and so our city’s leaders must be agents of change. I believe they should be supported by an attorney who will embrace their new ideas and initiatives, unconstrained by attitudes, practices and relationships of the past.
Homewood is indeed a wonderful place to live and work, and it has a bright future ahead. However, the administration that will lead the city, after the election, must face a set of challenges left over from past administrations. Addressing these challenges will require a Mayor with insight, determination, perseverance, negotiating experience, a strong sense of purpose, and a willingness to make tough decisions and stand by them, when necessary.
With the support of the citizens of Homewood on October 6th, I look forward to taking these challenges on and leading our city toward an even brighter future.
Accountability and financial transparency are the foundation of a well managed and open government. Chris Lane will push to make the city government more accessible to the Homewood community.
We need to work together, not to build walls, but to build bridges to create unification among the Homewood communities. Chris Lane will focus on connecting and growing each Homewood community to become more unified.
Chris Lane most certainly understands the importance of economic development; however, he stands behind protecting and preserving the charm of Homewood and the small business owners.
Homewood's most valuable asset is its citizens, and Chris Lane understands the importance of including the community and its citizens in decision-making, whether big or small.
“Government leaders need to broaden their approach and embrace their responsibility to facilitate, support and empower citizens as stakeholders, trusting that they can and will effectively guide decision making.”
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PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT Chris Lane FOR MAYOR.
2 Metroplex Dr Ste 200
HOMEWOOD, AL 35209
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