Suzanne Miller was eliminated from the race during the Mayoral Primary
City of Lodi mayoral candidates created their own profile questions before receiving ones from the Chronicle.
I grew up in a household whose parents survived the depression as well as WWII. My father served in the Army as a radio relay operator and my mother packed parachutes. We were instilled with a sense of Civic duty. We were expected to fully participate in our democracy. Voting and serving in public office was a responsibility of our citizenship.
Therefore, I have been a lifelong citizen activist. I follow three basic rules in my life:
- Secrets are bad. An uninformed citizenry is bad for democracy.
- Do the math. Do your homework. Get all the facts. Money in and money out is only addition and subtraction. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you your priorities.
- Follow the money. This tenet came out the Nixon Presidency. In a capitalistic society, following the money is always important information. This goes directly to the driving forces behind many decisions. Too many decisions, in my opinion. When economic considerations are first, people are not. When we do not value our people, our society declines. The math is easy. The outcome is certain.
Why do you think you are qualified to be the Mayor of the City of Lodi?
I firmly believe that anyone who has ever run a tight household budget, like myself, can improve on the waste and inefficiencies I have witnessed during my last four years on the Council. In the past year, information to our fellow Commissioners and Committee members has improved, but the efforts to control the agendas, the minutes, and any voices of dissent or disagreement is continuously limited by this Mayor and his Council President. Most recently, only committee Chairs were allowed input to the Council. This automatically eliminates other voices from important conversations.
Have you held public office in the past? If so, when and what roles?
I have been a city Alder for 4 years be elected and re-elected in 2017 & 2019 respectively. I have also served the city as an Election Inspector, Special Registration Ambassador and poll worker.
What do you believe are the roles/responsibilities of a Mayor?
I believe a Mayor needs to oversee and manage the future of the community and her people. Society exists for people and we need to prioritize their needs and separate out their wants. A healthy community is socially, economically, and physically fulfilling.
The Preamble to our Constitution is clear: “provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…..”
Describe your highest priorities for the City of Lodi.
My number one issue is transparency with open Communication between the City and her citizens. I believe the city needs to pay her bills and plan for the upcoming needs of our city. I strongly disagree with the direction and priorities of the current Council leadership which is silent on the additional costs to the city for other ambitious projects.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for the City of Lodi?
Change! Change frightens people but it is necessary to evolve into the 21st Century. I believe our City is at a crossroads. Law Enforcement, the Fire Department and Transportation are needs and they have not been adequately funded and the 2020 budget has already been decided.
We are three years into a five year warning to upgrade these critical services. Lodi wants to have everything larger cities boast but those goals are unsustainable for our community size. We can have everything we need but not everything we want. We need to make wiser decisions with our money particularly when hidden costs are not included in funding decisions as well as referendum. The cost of maintenance and labor for our city streets is never included in the large budget proposals like the turf upgrade to the school. These items fall to the city taxpayer, not the school district tax payer.
We have changed the leadership in our Law Enforcement. We have replaced our Assessor. It’s a beginning but more change needs to happen.
“Be the change you want to see in the World.” I am the candidate of change and I hope I can earn your support.