We are a small city with a small general fund budget. We cannot afford to sue, or be sued by, the State due to our failure to comply with existing laws, and we should not invite lawsuits from organizations or private persons on matters we cannot win. We have heard a lot of rhetoric in the last few years about standing up to the State, or doing what is best for Clayton even if doing so is against State laws. Fighting senseless lawsuits that we cannot win is irresponsible. Taking on lawsuits and financial consequences on meritless lawsuits is contrary to maintaining fiscal stability and safety in our town.
We are increasingly seeing more legislation from Sacramento that attempts to take away local control. In terms of new state legislation, as a small city, if we are not at the table, we are on the menu. Our voice may at times be small, but without any voice, we easily end up being subject to outcomes decided by the larger cities and the State. We have to have working relationships with our State representatives, we need to offer alternative solutions if we oppose pending proposals, and we need to offer our perspectives in a constructive manner.
How often do you let your kids get away from doing their chores simply because they say “no”? That is not a winning tactic in my household, and based on my experience that does not work in legislative processes with the state either. I work with cities along with elected and appointed officials in my work on a daily basis. I know how to navigate legislative processes and I understand where, when and how we can advocate points that are important in Clayton. We need leadership that understands how a small city like Clayton can maximize its voice and be heard.