Web Series: No. 6 – Decision Making as an Elected Official

April 6, 2020

Decision making as an Elected Official is never easy. The issues are frequently complex with conflicting interests. Complex issues require critical thinking skills and frequently, many stakeholders are impacted. Never is there one right answer. It is particularly difficult for decision makers when stakeholders are given misinformation, incomplete information, or statements made out of context.

Strong positional stances must find a way to compromise and find common ground.

I’ve been asked: "What fundamentals steer my decisions?"

A good starting point is to review the value statements and the text of my 2018 Campaign Speech – see my Blog at (klingward3.com). As such, I restate:

  1. I serve the City of O’Fallon, Mo.

  2. I am an advocate for the needs of our residents and businesses and my goal is to protect our community’s bright and forward-moving future.

  3. The views, opinions and concerns of our citizens must be heard and acted on.

  4. The views, opinions, and concerns of those who are investing in our city and building the future of our city must be heard and acted on.

  5. I will listen to all parties with an open mind, evaluate economic proposals without bias, search for smart innovation, pursue significant and substantial benefits for both the city and residents, do my homework, and get informed.

  6. I promised to search hard for the right thing to do. That is in the best interests of our citizens and for the sustainability of our great City of O’Fallon.

  7. I will emphasize Governance over politics.

I’ve also been asked about my approach and thoughts on Decision Making. These are the core processes I follow:

  1. I listen to all parties that have a stake and are impacted by the issue. Everyone treated equally with courtesy and respect. I do read e-mail inputs, but I find that verbal comment opportunities during Council meetings are more effective. E-mail and Social media that contain content with unrestrained emotion, derogatory statements, and threats are not effective. Note: Wall Street Article, July 18, 2019, by Robert Kaplan in part said: “Digital and social media encourages rage, passion, and brinkmanship - and passion is the enemy of analysis. complex and mature thinking”. Decent and ethical individuals must avoid this trap.

  2. I collect the facts (macro/micro). I research, study and evaluate.

  3. If possible, I seek changes and common ground from the parties involved. I then set it all aside for reflection. I pray for guidance and listen for that inner voice. Only then do I decide.

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