By: Peter Larocque – April 2013
In this column I would like to put forth what I am looking for in a candidate to be the next Mayor of the Great City of Lawrence. First and foremost I want to make it clear that I am not looking for a Savior for the city of Lawrence.
The citizens of Lawrence already have a Savior, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ! There is nobody alive on earth who can improve upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the next Mayor doesn’t have to be perfect either. According to Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, this tells me that perfection is off of the table. Now that I have made that clear, what is it exactly that I am looking for in a candidate for the next Mayor?
The answer to that question is also found in the Bible, Exodus 18:13- 26. Here we read the account concerning the time after God freed His people by His mighty hand from captivity and slavery brought about by the evil Egyptian taskmasters ruled by Pharaoh. Once out of Egypt and in the wilderness the people, being many, needed leadership. It was Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, who brought this to his attention. This thing that Moses was doing, which was ruling over God’s people all by himself, was not good. So Moses’ father-law told him that God would help him to look among the people for able men that feared God, men of truth, hating covetousness. This Biblical account tells us that the new leadership, Moses’ top administrators, had to come out from among the people.
So, in keeping with these same attributes, the next Mayor of Lawrence has to be a Lawrencian who has a heart for the city and a love for all the people, not just one segment of the population. Additionally, the next Mayor of Lawrence must be able. (By the way, I believe this truth applied today could mean man or woman, but for brevity, I will use the masculine). So the first requirement to lead as Mayor is that he must be a Lawrencian who is able, which means confident in one’s ability and possessing the education and knowledge to get the job done. Someone with integrity and secure in their own skin, someone solution minded, someone who brings people together to work together for the common good.
Secondly, someone who fears God! A person who has reverence for God. One who is humble, and prays and acknowledges that he is limited and turns to God for guidance and solutions to what the city needs.
Thirdly, a man of truth, simply put, someone who says what he means, and means what he says. Someone we can trust to also do what he says, one who lives by the same rules and laws that we the people are expected to abide by. The next Mayor cannot make speeches about shared responsibilities while at the same time living irresponsibly, doing that which appears contrary to living under the same rule of law. The practice of making speeches about public safety being their number one priority, only to shortly thereafter lay off police and firemen and close firehouses must end!
The fourth attribute in the next Mayor of Lawrence is one who hates covetousness! The next Mayor of Lawrence must not be one who is fixated on power! He cannot and must not put his own interest (greed) before the interest of the City! The next Mayor cannot surround himself with people who will only tell him what he wants to hear. The next Mayor should not fill his administration with family members, or those who are more loyal to him than the City Charter.
On a personal note, I would like the next Mayor of Lawrence to be a family man who is not afraid of allowing people to see that family is a priority! Also someone who is not easily intimated to lead all the people of Lawrence no matter what their ethnicity is. The Great City of Lawrence has been, and will always be a city of immigrants. Our next Mayor must be one who celebrates and embraces all backgrounds and classifications.
Finally, the next Mayor of Lawrence needs to begin the process of getting our city and our public schools back under local rule. The next Mayor of Lawrence cannot continue the practice of relying on the state to oversee its city budget and the education of its children. The process of weaning the city off of dependence on the state’s intervention must begin. Putting it plainly, The city of Lawrence operating without a State Financial Overseer and a State Receiver/Superintendent must be a part of the next Mayor’s agenda!
The question now arises, is there someone in Lawrence who has these convictions and fits these qualifications? I know of a few and I bet you, the readers of The Valley Patriot know of some as well. Only God knows if they will rise to the occasion. I am praying that one of them answers the call to lead.
What I do know for sure is that our current Mayor falls short of these leadership skills and attributes and my criticism has nothing to do with his ethnic background.
So as a citizen of the Great City of Lawrence, I am looking forward to an exciting election season this year, which includes the campaign for our next Mayor!
See you around, God Bless you all.