Letter to the Editor

Citizens need to work openly with city

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear Editor:

I recently received a copy of a letter mailed to the Mayor of Cassville from a citizen named "Susan." "Susan" was writing about three complaints she had with some items she felt were not being addressed by the city. As I am the person responsible for directing day-to-day activities of all city staff, I will be looking into these issues.

However, just as any responsible newspaper editor wouldn't print an anonymous letter from an upset citizen, "Susan" (who provided no last name) needs to know that not providing her full name, nor a contact number for a follow-up telephone call, adds an element to the relationship that is less than efficient and lacks responsibility. This is especially true when written attacks are made on some of our staff as was the case with this letter.

We are working as hard as we can, as fast as we can, and within the limited resources we are afforded, to identify and fix most every problem within the city. Unfortunately, we can't get to every problem in time prescribed by some. In fact, we might not even know about a problem, or identify it as a problem, until someone brings it to our attention. Even then, certain problems identified by citizens are not city problems but private property issues.

As I've stated many times in the past, the city can't offer a solution to every problem that is before us due to many constraints beyond our control. Yet, we are here to help when, and where, we can. I expect that my staff will act in a professional manner with respect, maturity and concern for you and your problem. I ask for the same consideration from you as you make your complaint known to us by whatever form.

In the end, you have a right to complain and yet, doing so behind a curtain of anonymity, and with an attack stance, isn't going to get much, if anything, accomplished. Any issue you have, no matter its size, is still important to you or you wouldn't have brought it to our attention.

Because it is that important, I ask that you respectfully give me your name and a contact number so I can ensure that we respond in a timely manner. I would also like to follow up, as I can, to see if your issue was addressed in some manner.


Mike Hayslip, MSW, MPA

City Administrator

Cassville, Missouri