The world looks a bit different now than I expected when announcing my run for office, but the foundation of my campaign is now more important than ever – better communication, accountable government and transparency in decision-making.
We have seen mass protests across the country and in Flagstaff, a sign that large swaths of the community feel unheard and that their grievances seemingly are unrecognized by those in seats of power. Amidst the pandemic, we have experienced miscommunication, misinformation and misunderstanding around COVID-19 and why we must wear masks and physically distance to protect ourselves as well as each other.
Faith in our public institutions has drastically diminished, but it does not have to be that way, especially here in Flagstaff, and it is my job to do everything in my ability to dissuade the community of this sentiment. The people need to be included in the decision-making process. The public’s thoughts, ideas and concerns must be heard and recognized, and we can do that at the local level.
There are several ways I am working to institutionalize broader communications from the mayor’s office. In the next month, residents will be able to sign up for a monthly e-newsletter from me, letting you know what I have been doing, what council has decided in the last month and what is upcoming on the agenda. In addition, I will be setting up monthly virtual office hours, open to anyone from the public to speak directly to me. Yearly, I will be holding a State of the City Address to give a broad view of the challenges we face, how the city is addressing these challenges and what we have to look forward to in the future.
Good communication does not just help in dissuading feelings of negativity, but can create hope for a new direction, one where people are engaged, new ideas are shared and different approaches are tried. It has been a difficult, confusing and sometimes frightening year for many of us. We faced, and continue to face, unprecedented challenges, but through every crisis arises the greatest opportunity for change, to adapt, to find new ways and try new things to solve current and long-standing problems. I plan on considering all options for every situation that arises and hope you will help me on this venture.
I want to know your concerns and how we can do better, Flagstaff. But also, I want your ideas. Old ways won’t open new doors and I want to hear your creative solutions for Flagstaff. As your mayor, I want to hear everything from the community, good, bad and everything in between. This is how we will continue to make Flagstaff a great place to live. Email me at Paul.Deasy@flagstaffaz.gov. I’m here to listen and, just as important, act. FBN
By Paul Deasy, FBN
Paul Deasy is the mayor of Flagstaff.