By Don Henninger
It’s fair to say that election fatigue has set in.
From the national level to the local city races, that theme is resonating from voters as Election Day closes in. Many of the candidates are hearing that from their constituents. Many of the candidates say they are feeling that, too.
This has been a long, grueling campaign. And while we can acknowledge election fatigue, one thing we should never accept is leadership fatigue. This election season will end in a few days. The need to continue developing leaders will not.
Focusing on Scottsdale, we say hats off to all the candidates who have persevered through this run. Residents owe them gratitude for sticking it out. No matter who you like or dislike, they all stepped up and served their city. It takes a lot of work and dedication and you have to admire them for their efforts.
In a few days, we’ll know the Scottsdale results and the city can move forward with a new mayor and likely three new faces on council. It’s a crossroads moment for the city as their leadership abilities will be tested. They will have their hands full. There is a lot of hard work ahead.
But in two short years, we’ll have another election with three council seats on the ballot, and before we even end this election cycle, people already are quietly discussing options for 2022.
It never ends, nor should efforts to develop leadership pipelines that prepare residents for future seats on the City Council or mayor’s office. In the business world, it’s good practice to put succession planning in place, and while it’s no different for cities, it can be more challenging.
One of the best ways to do this: the city has leadership opportunities on more than two dozen boards and commissions, and that hands-on experience with city issues and personnel is invaluable training for anyone aspiring for higher office. These panels – from human relations to planning; tourism to transportation; preserve to personnel – provide advice to city leaders that directly affects Scottsdale’s quality of life and future economic prosperity.
Any resident can apply for these positions. The City Council then considers applicants and makes appointments. Staggered terms mean there are openings on most all the boards and commissions throughout the year. You start the process with this standard application.
A week from now, we’ll know who our new leaders in Scottsdale will be. They’ll take office in January. Even before they are sworn in, we’ll be talking about the next round. Like it or not, the 2022 election season starts on Nov. 4.
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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