The New Year is a Good Time to Renew Our Commitment to Work Together

Mayor Emilie Mitcham

Happy New Year to you. May the new beginning bring you a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

This past year, the Town of Mountain View has engaged in many important discussions, and in the coming year, we will again be handling some issues that are critical to the future of our town. I would like to encourage our community to stay up to date on what Council is considering each month, and weigh in with your thoughts before decisions are made.

I frequently hear from community members after decisions are made, and it is very frustrating because the input from residents could have changed the outcome. But only if we hear from you before the decision is made.

Resident voices are the most important voices at our table, and all six members of your Council want to do what is best for the community as a whole. They recognize that they speak for all the voters in Mountain View, and they know that their decisions impact both your present and your future.

Frequently, the decisions Council makes involve compromise because there are many different perspectives. But each time a resident takes the time to write a letter or share their thoughts at the Public Comment period, Council pays very close attention and takes the input seriously.

Given the limited space at Town Hall, the easiest way to stay informed is to request the Council meeting agendas. Email our Interim Town Clerk, Amanda McLaughlin at amclaughlin@tomv.org and she will include you when she sends the agendas out to Council.

The agenda is the formal “to-do list” of the meeting, and behind the agenda, you will find all the supporting documents that Council receives. At each meeting, there are also reports from committees and key staff members. These reports, along with the minutes of the prior meetings contain many important details that are relevant to decisions Council makes. If there are items in these reports or minutes that residents have questions about, I encourage community members to ask Council Members and me and we can clarify things.

Then, share your thoughts by writing a letter or logging into the meeting via zoom. Letters to share with Council can be sent to our Town Clerk as well, or can come to any one of the Council Members or myself.

One of the best parts of living in Mountain View is that all of the elected people are simply your neighbors doing their best to step up and help carry the load of running a small town.

Especially over the last ten years, as we have all witnessed our national and global politics take on a competitive and sometimes very hateful, angry tone that seems intent on demonizing people with different perspectives, I have found comfort in the ways in which local government is still mostly sane. But that requires constant vigilance. And it requires that we continually seek to see those who are different from us with a kind eye. It requires that we try to remember we are all just human beings, doing the best we can. 

I believe that the heart of democracy is made up of two essential commitments: a commitment to service and a commitment to compromise. What I see at our Council table is a desire to make a difference (service) and desire to find agreement (compromise). Hand in hand, these two qualities will lead us forward through many difficult discussions.

And I hope you will join us in this endeavor by staying informed and sharing your thoughts, so that the decisions we make together will be decisions that most accurately reflect the community we represent.

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