Need for leadership change

By Cary Bohn | Published Saturday, September 15, 2018

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I had the privilege of serving on the Decatur City Council for the last six years, it was an honor because our community has given me so much.

During my time, I served on the budget committee, the EDC board and served as mayor pro tem. I have many positive takeaways from the experience but also have some significant concerns that need to be addressed.

Communication – We have a great story to tell, yet we are not engaging in significant social media or other innovative communication strategies. For example, many cities do monthly videos highlighting relevant initiatives. Many of our departments do their own promotion, but there is not a holistic communication strategy.

Transparency – There is strength in diversity of thought. Each councilmen and women need to be given more information and more background on developing issues versus being asked to vote on a topic that they are hearing about for the first time. In addition, the council was once told that there is “hidden” money and in city government, that is improper.

Accountability – Per our charter, the council is to set direction and the city staff is to execute those directives. Our council does set direction, but if those directives and objective are not met, there are no consequences.

Inappropriate leadership – Perhaps the most concerning is the number of city employees that have come to me and shared stories of how they have been mistreated by city leadership. I hesitated to share this for fear of making the situation worse but cannot sit back and do nothing. There needs to be an investigation by an independent source before more damage is done and we lose more of our most valuable city staff.

In short, we need new leadership. Leadership that will bring new energy and innovation to our growing community. It’s time.

Cary Bohn

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