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The case for keeping Ruston’s current format

Post by News Tribune Staff on Aug. 8, 2008 at 12:08 pm with No Comments »
August 8, 2008 12:08 pm

Karen Pickett is heading the No campaign to change Ruston’s form of government. Pickett, who runs the Ruston Home blog, has been one of the most vocal critics of the current town council.

She wants to keep the current form of government, in which the mayor acts as the town’s executive and the council as its legislative body, to a town manager format. Her desires stem from checks and balances and tradition.

Some of this, for me, is based on intangibles. But when talking to folks and getting input and going over this, one of my biggest concerns is that, being a small town, small factions can take elected seats and not be responsive to all the constituents. It’s part of the nature of small towns. Having elected seats is important, and losing one of those representative seats is a wrong move. We need to keep our town as responsive to the voters as we can.

Money is another huge factor in her decision to oppose the measure.

Goals like professional management, if people feel it’s that important – and I’m not sure it is – can be accomplished without changing the form of government.

$100,000 a year right now? The council’s been talking about how we’re spending at a deficit. They want to tax certain businesses. They want to find other revenue sources. They want to outsource town services, or at least they’re investigating that. Either it is or it isn’t. Either we’re in a financial crisis or we’re not. I don’t think we are, but I still think what we have left in the reserves has to be carefully watched over, and I don’t think we can afford $100,000 a year right now.

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