I am honored and delighted to have assumed the office of next Mayor of Flagstaff.
The world looks a little different now than I expected when I announced my assumption of office, but the foundation of my campaign is now more important than ever – better communication, accountable government and transparency in decision-making.
We have seen mass protests across the country and in Flagstaff, a sign that large parts of the community are feeling unheard and that their grievances do not seem to be recognized by those in power. In the midst of the pandemic, we have experienced misunderstandings, misinformation, and misunderstandings regarding COVID-19 and learned why we need to wear masks and physical distance to protect ourselves and each other.
Trust in our public institutions has dropped dramatically, but it doesn't have to be, especially here in Flagstaff, and it is my job to do everything in my power to dissuade the community from feeling that way. People need to be involved in the decision-making process. The thoughts, ideas and concerns of the public need to be heard and recognized, and we can do that at the local level.
I am working in a number of ways to institutionalize wider communication from the mayor's office. For the next month, residents will be able to sign up for a monthly e-newsletter from me to let you know what I've done, what the council has decided over the past month and what's on the agenda. In addition, I will be setting up monthly virtual office hours that will be open to anyone from the public to speak to me directly. Every year I will be giving a speech on the state of the city to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges we are facing, how the city is addressing those challenges and what to look forward to in the future.
Good communication not only helps to dissuade feelings of negativity, it can also create hope in a new direction in which people can get involved, exchange new ideas and try different approaches. It has been a difficult, confusing, and at times scary year for many of us. We have faced unprecedented challenges and continue to face them, but every crisis presents the greatest opportunity for change, adjustment, finding new ways and trying new things to solve current and longstanding problems. I plan to consider all of the options for any situation that arises and hope that you will help me with this endeavor.
I want to know your concerns and how we can do better, Flagstaff. But I also want your ideas. Old ways don't open new doors and I want to hear your creative solutions for Flagstaff. As your mayor, I want to hear everything from the community, good, bad and everything in between. This is how we will continue to make Flagstaff a great place to live. Send me an email at Paul.Deasy@flagstaffaz.gov. I am here to listen and, just as important, to act. FBN
Twitter: @ Deasy4Flagstaff
By Paul Deasy, FBN
Paul Deasy is the Mayor of Flagstaff.