Who should lead?

I was invited to attend a work session of the Culver Town Council last night.  The work session was the result of the efforts of MCEDC to energize Marshall County communities to plan and prepare for growth.  Unfortunately last night’s meeting degenerated into random complaints from various attendees about some Culver boards and commissions with very little positive discussion or resolution.  I had invited Jay Bahr, MCEDC‘s new Executive Director, to attend this meeting and was somewhat embarrassed.  It wasn’t exactly what I would have liked him to see with his first introduction to Culver’s leaders.

Image borrowed from Aliexpress.comIn February, MCEDC held our first County-wide economic development summit with attendees representing all of the communities in Marshall County.  As a result of that meeting I had met with several Culver Town Council Members to see what action steps could be taken. My thoughts on this involved encouraging the Town Council to be the pointy head of the spear.  In other words, set an agenda for growth and improvement and pass that mandate down to the boards and commissions that serve beneath them.  Theoretically, the Town Council is the elected body that represents the people and through them the citizen’s will should be enacted by the appointed boards and commissions.  Without a cohesive plan of action to implement, the boards and commissions either proceed on their own agendas or in some cases are rudderless and accomplish no agenda.

There has been some progress.  Retention meetings have been held with Elkay and discussions have been had regarding how to make Culver more accessible to business.  All positive steps, but ones without a cohesive goal.

Image borrowed from Granitegrok.comThe Comprehensive Plan will fill part of this need, but it needs the will of the citizens and their elected officials, the Town Council, to be reflected in that.  Even though completion of the Comprehensive Plan is as much as a year away, the Town Council needs to be gearing up towards implementation and as I’ve tried to express to them, the Comprehensive Plan process can’t be an excuse for doing nothing now.

Last night’s meeting showed a lack of respect for the Town Council’s position of authority in the Town.  It was a good step towards leadership, but it’s clear that they are going to need to TAKE their leadership back.  There will be no shortage of complaints, but complaints don’t fill the leadership void.  Culver’s unofficial motto has always been “Change is bad even when it’s change for the better”.  The Town Council needs to ignore that and be the instigator of change.  Change for the better…

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