Moving Forward Together
One of the top issues residents brought to my attention and that I will continue to prioritize is our city's infrastructure. Since the election, I have worked with some skilled members of our city staff to craft a "Common Picture" on priority infrastructure. Thom Sheridan will present the first version, including water, sewer, and stormwater, at the council meeting on February 8th. The city has a lot of information to manage and, as always, the staff has a lot going on, and we regularly make funding decisions. Having the ability to make those decisions in the context of key infrastructure project options will reinforce our focus on key infrastructure. It's easy to spend on smaller projects without noticing that the sum of those decisions could have funded a higher priority project like improved water system redundancy for our residents. While some things may be more exciting or flashier to engage in, basic infrastructure and utilities are a core function of our municipal government. We need to make our spending decisions in the context of our priorities and outstanding opportunities. The Common Picture will allow the council and staff to make recommendations on spending compared to the other projects we've identified. We should put our time and resources where we have set our priorities.
In addition to the insight on the infrastructure itself, we will begin a discussion about equalizing the water rates for Hudson Public Water customers. Over 20 years ago, when the village and the township merged, there was agreement that township residents would pay a higher rate for water "to pay their fair share" of Hudson Public Water infrastructure that was already in place. Unfortunately, there was no sunset clause in the agreement, so I have proposed a discussion this week on how to equalize these rates in the near term.
Political divisiveness has been a widely shared concern among Hudson residents and even more broadly across our country. Earlier this year, Councilwoman Kowalski introduced campaign finance legislation. The council discussion illustrated some strong disagreement on the content of the legislation, which covered a variety of changes. Campaign finance has been a topic that interests politicians and a few in the community. However, divisiveness in our community is a broadly shared concern. I disagreed with many of the proposed changes; I likewise felt it was essential to hear the rationale and understand dissenting perspectives. While I disagree with Councilwoman Kowalski on several priorities and views, I see this discussion as an opportunity for council members to navigate opposing positions with professional civil behavior. Many of the council members think this way and are looking for opportunities to be civil in our opposing positions.
As always, I appreciate your comments and shared thoughts. I listen to and consider all of them in my role as one of your At-Large representatives.