One result of myself taking part in Abilene’s City University program is a new, strong appreciation for the number of dedicated, talented people I’ve met who work for the City of Abilene (us!) in various capacities. Over and over again, I’ve been impressed with the dedication, creativity and good attitudes of people I’ve encountered whom work for the city. Not to mention there have been many who demonstrated admirable expertise in their fields. Maybe this is because really, working for a City is in fact a service position. Someone told us this in our first meeting, but for me the “jury was still out” on this. What I’ve seen months later, is that there are many people who work for the City whom are types who care about others and want to offer them good, quality service, and who care about their community. Another benefit of taking part in City University has been that I’ve met other City U “students,” who also care about their/our city, and want to put forth efforts to try and make it the best place possible for everyone. It’s encouraging to be around that.
I also feel that I’ve noticed some inherent weariness sometimes among city employees. They’re facing too-limited budgets and sometimes the lure of making more money elsewhere (i.e. in the oil shale industry), or problems finding and keeping good employees for some of the same reasons. I think good attention to retention programs is a good idea. Plus, sometimes I think city employees face a lot of criticism. As in, “What is wrong with these people?! These roads suck!”
These are issues than can be improved upon I think. If we are more involved as residents ourselves, in trying to solve problems in our city — seeing them as our problems and not just somebody else’s (somebody to criticize and disparage) then a lot can be accomplished. I imagine even some fun can be had in the process!
Hopefully in Abilene we can value and treat our employees well.