Madison Needs Mayor Who Will Listen To City Staff, Gloria Reyes Has My Vote

“It was disconcerting to sit in a meeting, where several people had degrees and strong backgrounds and many years of expertise, and still know that the Madison mayor felt she was still the brightest one around the table.”

That is a direct quote that came my way two years ago by someone who was taken aback at the tone-deafness of Satya Rhodes-Conway, a mayor who is known for her self-assurance about every topic that lands at city hall.  She is, needless to say, a smart woman and has proven political skills.  No one can deny she is to be respected.  But so are the professionals and a number of city employees who also bring a wealth of insight and information to the table.

The race for the top job at city hall has been filled with debates over bus service, housing, and policing concerns.  There has been some beneficial back-and-forth with Gloria Reyes, a proven leader in her own right over the years in our city. The voters are getting a clear sense of the issues that will drive the city and those who govern it over the next four years. But they also are becoming more aware of the troubling style of management of the current mayor.

When I worked in radio there was a concept when interviewing people for news reports called the 80/20 rule. That is when the one who is being interviewed talks 80% of the time, and the reporter listens, and then makes queries with the other 20%, even though there may be glaring reasons to interrupt and say, “But that is factually wrong” or “did you not previously say”?   I can say in hindsight, that much was learned from letting the one not holding the microphone have the chance to make their points.

City departments have many truly qualified and informed employees who have much to add to a discussion about the topic at hand but need to have a mayor who is truly interested in listening and learning.  A mayor who is not so cock-sure about every facet of city operations that there cannot possibly be anyone smarter at the table.

Satya Rhodes-Conway is not about to change who she is when it comes to her self-centered perspective.  But voters can change the tone of the mayor’s office by electing Gloria Reyes.

One thought on “Madison Needs Mayor Who Will Listen To City Staff, Gloria Reyes Has My Vote

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