Last year, the New York Times featured an interview with Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of a company called YouSendIt. He talked about how he infused his organization with three important values: be in, be real, be bold.  You can find the interview by clicking here.

“Be in” means be passionate about what you do, don’t just show up.  “Be real” is about being authentic in how you operate and in communications, both internally and externally.  “Be bold” is about trying new things, taking risks and being tolerant of failure with the potential for progress.  This article resonated with me, as these ideas mirror the values we apply at City Hall and throughout our City’s operations.

As a City Council, we are passionate about our City’s core priorities: fiscal stability, public safety and investment in our infrastructure as well as supporting our businesses, meeting the needs of our most vulnerable community members, celebrating the arts and preserving our natural resources. This passion for our priorities informs our policy decisions and translates into our vibrant, livable community.

Communication to and from City Hall is better than ever before. We don’t just talk about transparency and accountability; we have taken the necessary steps to make the inner-workings of our City government more open and accessible.  You hear from us in multiple ways and your feedback is always invited.  From the Highlander, the Annual Report and the City website to our e-news and social media, we maintain fluid two-way communication. We work to create meaningful connections with residents. Communicating, planning and finding efficiencies within our operations, our sister governments and neighboring communities help us develop and implement creative solutions now and for our future.

In addition to regular meetings with senior staff and my Council colleagues, over a period of a few weeks every year, I invite all employees to join me for informal, candid conversations. Just like Neighborhood Meetings withresidents, these dialogues and feedback improve our operations.  Hydrant maintenance improvements, movie theater fire safety, and police staffing decisions are just a few of the constructive results that have arisen out of these conversations.

We are no strangers to challenges. We have made dramatic changes and reforms over the last few years.  The majority of our Senior Staff has joined us within the last two years, reflecting a new approach at City Hall, with goals of transparency, collaboration, responsible teamwork, and proactive governance as we focus on our core priorities. We boldlystep outside of the box, trying new processes, working with new partnerships, seeking new approaches.   As we consider possible downtown zoning changes, examine how we use our more than 25 City buildings, and work directly with our sister governments on new projects, we push the envelope, and stretch towards progress.

Our community is driven by a collective desire to shape our future, starting with fresh thinking and appreciating our city as a place where new ideas and approaches make a tangible difference in how we live, work and play.  Join us.  Be in, be real, be bold.

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