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Her Honor

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Advice To Mayors On The Move

Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
As a former mayor, I contend there is no more challenging job for a public official than serving in local government. Constituents consider you the “go to” person to solve problems ranging from barking dogs and potholes to economic development and immigration reform.
 
The experience of being so close to the voters (you will probably see them in the grocery store, public library, or local restaurant) helps keep you focused on issues and “grounded.”  Working with the city administrators and council colleagues sharpens leadership and communication skills.
 
These skills will be put to the test for 14 mayors or former mayors recently elected to higher office. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, voters in Colorado, Connecticut, Tennessee, Rhode Island, New York, and Maine elected local officials to the top job. And in California, former Oakland mayor Jerry Brown will serve as governor, with former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom as his lieutenant governor. Former Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley was re-elected governor. The 112th Congress will include six new members who have come from the mayor’s office.
 
As these lawmakers take on their new responsibilities, I urge them to:
  •    set and maintain the highest ethical standards, and apply them to all
  • take advantage of the "bully pulpit" to educate voters
  •        reach back to city and county leaders for advice and support and “across the aisle” for partnerships
  •           mentor student interns and others new to public service, and recruit volunteers to support your programs and projects.
     
     
     

 

 
 

 

Tags: Ethical Leadership, governors, United States Conference of Mayors

 
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