August 2009 Editorial Winner

Step up, Mr. Mayor
J.B. Bittner - Stillwater NewsPress,  August 2009
A few months into his term, Mayor Nathan Bates generously made time to sit down with us and talk about himself, his campaign and his 27-vote victory.
We asked specifically of each plank of his campaign platform - including addressing city water issues, pursuing business, increasing housing - what research he had completed since taking office that would help him move forward on those pledges.
Water issues - none. More businesses - none. Additional housing - none. Hadn’t had time. Didn’t feel he could pursue that information on his own.
But in the same period the mayor not only had researched the topic of a mayoral office at City Hall - he had seen the blueprints indicating an office had been in the early plans. Diligent attention to detail.
Now it is time to see that diligence directed beyond self. Our mayor and councilors have been tasked with upgrading our infrastructure, dealing with personnel issues, sorting out the ambulance service’s future, helping to assure new developments are designed to co-exist with long-established residences.
Yet, here they are - hashing out this issue of the mayor having an office - and a computer and a telephone and support staff.
And at the mayor’s request the city manager is polling cities across the state to see if they provide their mayor an office, a computer, a telephone, support staff.
And this at a time when people in the private sector are fighting for jobs, let alone cell phones.
Move on, Mr. Mayor. Enough about you. Time to step up and focus on issues of the city.
If Stillwater residents had known that this many months into office Mayor Bates would still be directing his energy toward securing an office and a city cell phone, we are wondering if 28 more people might have been motivated to get out and vote.