The next Madera city administrator, whether it will be current interim Administrator Steve Frazier or someone we don’t know yet, will need to be more than a skillful bureaucrat.
He or she will need to have a vision for the City of Madera that goes beyond merely showing up for work every day at City Hall.
For example, the people of the city are tired of not having their codes enforced on housing and business buildings.
They are tired of whole neighborhoods made up largely of patch-work and junk-pile housing.
They are tired of a downtown that looks more like a run-down town, even while it serves the needs of its tenants and customers.
They are tired of job-creating industries shutting their eyes as they pass through Madera on the way to somewhere else.
They are tired of kids graduating from high school without being able to read, write or calculate — skills absolutely necessary in the world of work they will enter. The council obviously doesn’t govern the schools, but it can make clear that the city has certain expectations of them.
The council needs to have a plan to take advantage of the high-speed rail stop planned for Madera, once that project is eventually completed. The citizens are tired of having things happen to them economically, instead of making prosperity happen.
The Vision 2025 plan has been a good guide for certain expectations, but it lacks the sense of urgency that the city needs if it is to move forward and change in a positive way.
The new administrator, whoever that may be, can bring that sense of urgency to the table because it is the right time. Change is expected now. The public is irked over such things as salaries for certain employees, but what really irks them is that nobody is out in front leading the parade into the future.
How do we capitalize on our strengths? How do we mitigate our weaknesses?
How do we put aside our fear of change? How do we put the best horses before the cart?
Positive leadership can do this.
We have to move forward and concentrate not on finding somebody to blame for certain problems, but on enabling our citizens to use their many strengths to make Madera a miracle of recovery and a shining example of what a livable, lively, prosperous and, yes, noble city can be.