Local Government | FREE WHITEWATER
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Local Government

Aside


IF PUBLIC OFFICIALS DON’T WANT TO READ DISCUSSIONS ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY, THEN THEY SHOULDN’T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

 

(Local) Fear of a Red Hat

There are any number of fears that occasionally grip people, however unfounded those fears, of snakes, of spiders, of black cats, etc. (Snakes play an important ecological role, some cultures think spiders are good luck, and black cats are beautiful with notably soft coats.) And yet, and yet… no fear strikes deeper and holds tighter…

Broken Policymaking Over a Voucher Program

Whitewater has a local government that taxes and legislates, and that hires officials who exercise authority over the city’s residents, in a nine-square-mile area. Our local government has its own municipal building, in which it holds regular public meetings, and in which officials can talk to each other and residents in person, by email, text,…

Competition: Good for Individuals and Society

Pres. Biden plans measures to increase market competition. David Leonhardt reports Biden’s New Push (‘The U.S. economy suffers from a lack of competition. President Biden wants to change that’): The U.S. economy has been less dynamic in the 21st century, by many measures, than it was in the late 20th century. Fewer new businesses are starting.…

Whither the Conservative Populists?

In places big and small, including Whitewater, there are three main types of conservatives: traditional, transactional, and populist. (Right-wing populist in our time is mostly a euphemism for Trumpist.) Of these types, only the right-wing populists are a dynamic movement. Traditional conservatives each day look more like large reptiles after a cataclysmic meteor strike, and…

‘Communicate, Communicate, Communicate’ Isn’t So Easy in a Fractured Town

Some years ago, an administrator (no longer with the school district) told others that a good practice for leaders was to ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’ with the community. The concept makes sense: craft a message and then make sure it’s heard by repeating it. In a small town, how hard could that be? As it turns…

Conservative Populism Moves in One Direction Only

While there’s more than one kind of conservative Republican (traditionalist, transactionalist, or populist), it’s the populists who are the most numerous and most demanding. Over time, they’ve pushed other kinds of conservatives – even transactionalists who are behind-the-scenes manipulators – into subordinate positions. (See generally Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021.) These rightwing populists have outlasted Trump,…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Limits of Local Politics

This is the final post in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Earlier posts at FREE WHITEWATER have addressed the limits of local politics in the community: local public (or powerful private) institutions have a limited power of action (with harmful actions likely to be more immediate than helpful ones). It’s certain that a…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021 — COVID-19: Skepticism and Rhetoric

This is the eighth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Why would a local politician publish statistics on a pandemic? Why would he write now and again with reports of the reach of the pandemic into his city? He’d write this way out of concern for his community. If that’s not plain,…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: The Common Council

This is the seventh in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Whitewater has a seven-person person city council with an appointed city manager to run the daily affairs of the town. Two of the council seats are at-large, and the other five members are from aldermanic districts. While the city manager acts in…