During an election that has been described as “lackluster” with a small voter turnout anticipated, only the most politically interested or savvy citizens will read candidate pleas for a vote.

Konnie Lukes: A Call for an Open and Transparent City Government 1

In this election, more than ever, character, experience, promises and enthusiasm are not the only criteria by which to judge the worthiness of a candidate. A candidate’s alliances must also be considered, either as an advantage or a handicap. If a majority of the candidates are endorsed or supported by the same vested interest groups, community, labor, professional and other elected politicians, does the city council become a team or a gang? Will these mutual endorsements be a prophesy of future voting habits that reflect the agendas of the endorsing groups or will the candidates votes be an independent response to the needs of the city residents and taxpayers?

I respect most of the community, labor and professional groups groups, but I have not asked for their endorsement in this election or prior elections.  

As a child of immigrants who left a dictatorship to come to America, I understand the importance and necessity of an open and transparent government. As a city councillor and past Mayor, I  have always fought to provide the checks and balances and the public scrutiny that is the basis of our democracy.

As a past Mayor and current City Councilor I have looked at what past city practices required reviewing, what current needs must be addressed and what future issues should be anticipated. Examples of some of my initiatives include the 12 month demolition delay ordinance, the pursuit of architectural design review, a posted online city checkbook listing all city expenditures, a Zero Waste program to eliminate 90% of our trash by the year 2040, successfully requiring the City to apply for the Amazon proposal to create 50,000 new jobs, tax relief, supporting the lowest residential tax rate vote, as Mayor supporting the appointment of the first woman, the first non Worcesterite and the first minority School Superintendent.  If elected as Mayor I will be continue to fight for the needs of all our citizens.

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