By Gerry Visconti
A complaint was filed last week with the Department of Labor detailing the acting mayor’s alleged threats to a group of DPW employees for endorsing an opposing candidate.
We can neither afford to accept nor tolerate aggressive behavior from our elected officials, certainly not from an individual temporarily occupying the mayor’s office. We must encourage and adopt a culture of inclusivity, where city employees and residents feel safe and respected in their workplace and in dealings with their government.
This continuing culture of intimidation and aggression needs to be exposed, addressed, and transformed.
Earlier this year, the council addressed bullying tactics from the former mayor’s office. After a vote against the administration, a sitting councillor was threatened with retaliation, funding was obstructed, and a project was cancelled in the councillor’s ward.
Leadership is about trust built on compassion and understanding, not about fear and coercion.
“We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them.”
To lead is to set the example, committed to the highest standards of conduct. It’s about earning and showing respect; for the office, for city employees, and for residents. These guiding principles should always be at the forefront of decision-making.
Our leaders should inspire us to work together, not to create a sense of dread and insecurity among colleagues. Everyone’s contribution matters with the mayor’s office serving as a beacon of hope and unwavering commitment to maintaining the confidence and trust of the community and the people it serves.
It’s imperative that we hold our leaders accountable for their actions, demanding higher standards from those who represent us by electing individuals who possess the strength, integrity, and dedication to lead us toward a better future.
Let’s create an environment where both employees and residents are treated with the respect they deserve, walking into city hall without fear, knowing their well-being and dignity are valued and protected, and their interests are being served, above all else.
But first, it will take new leadership to guide the city in the right direction and restore respect to the mayor’s office.
(Editor’s Note: Gerry Visconti is a current councillor-at-large and a candidate for mayor.)