It has been an incredible and humbling experience to run for public office. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate so intimately in the democratic process and to learn so much about Marietta it's citizens and it's politics. This campaign will not soon be forgotten.
I hoped the negative turn the election had taken would have been addressed, especially the veracity of the malicious statements made by an elected official. Publicly supporting a candidate is one thing, but to pursue an ignorant and demonstrably false negative attack on that person's opponent speaks to everything that is wrong with politics and the reason that I find less and less in common with one party. If you set out to win at all costs you fail to see who the true losers in the equation are. I wanted my supporters to understand that I did not mislead them.
I prepared well for this election and built amazing relationships with government employees, former employees, so many engaged and active citizens as well as citizens who have been disenfranchised by the failings in the system. I studied the Maximus study, the former finance advisory board's recommendations, the city's performance audit, the independent audit and the previous 10 years audits, and the numerous citations and revised code violations.
Excel and Adobe have incredible capabilities with an informed user to utilize them, combined with a partnership with both colleges to develop internship programs would alleviate any need for additional taxpayer money to do initial updates on the office.
Ms. Holley stated herself, in response to councilman Vukovic that the contractor/bed tax audits were not being done, so if she was wrong and it is not within the auditor's capacity, then whose is it and why hasn't it been done? We are potentially leaking revenue and that is not acceptable. There are more intelligent ways to make a city more efficient and financially stable, there are also cities which have proven that deregulation and smaller government logic does not work (Look up Jennifer Granholm-A Governor's Story a frank exploration of what happens when ideology and political gamesmanship collide with human needs. Michigan's efforts to solve problems like devastating unemployment and out-of-control budget deficits demonstrated the bankruptcy of such traditional responses as "lower taxes," "less regulation," and "smaller government"-all of which accelerated, rather than reversed, the state's decline).
It scares me that the treasurer made the next statement: revenue and expenditures are completely separate and the majority of our expenditures are either set by contract or are contractual in nature. I am well aware that our revenue is mostly in the form of income tax.
Numerous government employees told me that the office uses Cobol. That speaks for itself. My opponent and everyone else involved have lamented about the antiquity of our software system. If I am off by a few years I sincerely apologize.
The only information available online is the auditor's monthly statement. There is no indication of actual projects money is being spent on, where and why there are so many appropriations that were not budgeted for etc. So we can and need to do better. I also planned on spending 55-60 hours a week on the office, there would have been no need for an additional employee. My research indicated four people for a city of our size is not entirely necessary.
I have made every single attempt to reach out to the republican party, being tactful of not disrespecting my opponents close relationships, which was why I did not go directly to Ms. Holley. I did not want to put her in an uncomfortable position. Common decency would have been to pick up the phone or email me if I misspoke, not pay several hundred dollars for a paid advertisement. This was political posturing at its worst and Ms. Holley, and my opponent since we now know she was involved, should be ashamed.
Finally it was petty to state that I am not an independent and offensive in the fact that I tried so hard to reach out to both parties. The first person I actually went to for campaign advice was Andy Thompson, I was in direct contact with Andy throughout the whole election, even when we virulently disagreed on issues. He provided invaluable insight. My first political meeting was with the 9-12 group and I knocked on as many republican doors as I could. I then attempted to reach out to the republican party when I went to the Galley for the republicans meet the candidate event, I sat at the outside bar respectfully, hoping to be invited in as a candidate. I also developed great relationships with several republican candidates and did everything possible to reach out to both parties. I attended democratic events because I have wonderful relationships with many democrats and there was the simple reason that I was invited.
I offered more than campaign promises. I offered a researched and thoughtfully planned out alternative to the status quo. I ran a positive campaign with a few missteps in my frustrated exhaustion. I am proud of all that I accomplished and humbled by the incredible support I received along the trail. I hope in the next election that people demand better out of their elected officials. The posturing that was done by our city treasurer will be a detriment to our citizens. I sincerely hope that my opponent takes some of my ideas and runs with them to help get the office moving in the right direction.
"Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians." ~ Charles Krauthammer
Dana J. Singer