A quote from this morning's Sacramento Bee:
"A once tattered and neglected corner of The Uncity, that huge swath of unincorporated Sacramento County, Citrus Heights has transformed itself in just 13 years since it incorporated. Everything got better: streets, lighting, garbage service, law enforcement and that indefinable quality called civic engagement.
Credit goes to a smart cohesive group of City Council members. Unlike other new cities in the county, Citrus Heights was largely built out when it incorporated. With no revenue-generating growth spurt, the city had to live within its means. While other local governments overspent during the good times and now are facing layoffs and furloughs, Citrus Heights has no debt and a healthy reserve of $36 million.
It has made prudent investments, established its own Police Department, and built a new civic center and city hall, all with cash."
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/01/3070549/turner-incumbents-for-citrus-heights.html#ixzz117cgNvL4
So what can we learn from this? First, it is possible. Citrus Heights had its own coalition of naysayers, spouting the same bad rhetoric we're seeing in Arden Arcade right now. They ignored the critics, and went ahead and created a city to be proud of. Don't believe it? Go to the city's web site and look up their resident satisfaction survey.
Second, the council counts. This blurb was taken from an article endorsing certain candidates for the Citrus Heights city council. The praise for what the city has done was incidental to the need for quality people on the council leading the way. Just as ignoring the fear-mongers is important here, as it was there, taking the time to get to know the council candidates and vote wisely will be crucual to our success.
Luckily, we have a group of people who are dedicated and intelligent on the ballot. I wouldn't vote for all of them, even if I could. But, I really don't think there is any group of seven that could be formed that would be a bad choice. But the better we are at picking our council members, the more the city will thrive in its early days and lay a solid foundation for our future.
When I started this blog, I made a promise to kick both sides in the knees (well, with the written word, anyway) when they screwed up. Until now, I haven't had a bad word to say about the incorporation group or the candidates. I really hate to do this, because the offender was a good friend long before we both got involved with incorporation, but I can't be quiet about this one.
Joel, you have done amazing things throughout this campaign. When no one (including most of the committee) thought it would be possible, you managed to lead the way, raising money every time it was needed, steering through the governmental red tape, and being the leading advocate for Arden Arcade. Hear that? Arden Arcade. Not Arden. But suddenly the Arcade part is missing from your web site and literature? I'm not sure what the motivation is here, maybe it's as simle as making things fit better. But, we are Arden, and we are also Arcade. And yes, many of us dislike the name. But until we become a city and chamge it, it's who we are. And excluding half of our population is not a wise move.