Since Unigov was first created back in 1971, there has never been a transition of leadership in the City-County Council, which has remained reliably Republican for the entire thirty-two years. This November, for the first time, that changed. As we usher in a New Year, and new leadership, a reasonable question is: How will this change affect our city? What can citizens expect from a Democrat-led Council?
- Rozelle Boyd, who will be the Council President, has put together an unusual Transition Team—unusual in the sense that it is not composed solely of party insiders and people who expect employment or appointments. Instead, a really inclusive group of citizens representing a wide variety of constituencies has been assembled: people from the neighborhoods, from philanthropy, health care, academia, and many others.
- The “charge” that the new Council Caucus has given to that transition team is equally encouraging. We have been asked—among other things—to cast a wide net for citizens to appoint to boards and commissions. The goal is to find talented people willing to serve, to look beyond the small pool of friends and contributors who typically make up the bulk of political nominees. We have also been asked to provide training—including, notably, ethics training—to all councilors. (A long time ago, I served as chief of the City’s Ethics Commission, and I can personally attest to the fact that such training would have been very useful!)
- The new leadership has instructed everyone involved with the transition process that all decisions must incorporate three overriding principles: effectiveness and efficiency; constituent service; and diversity, understood as a broad inclusiveness. These are the principles that have been chosen by, and will guide, Rozelle and the majority Caucus. They are good ones.