§223 The newspaper published my letterSeptember 18, 2008
The paper “Ma’ale Adumim”, one of the two local newspapers here in Ma’ale Adumim that I sent the letter to published it. 10 tips for the people in the different municipal parties that want to be elected to the city council. Just like the other newspaper, it’s a free newspaper that is distributed to all the inhabitants of Ma’ale Adumim. Here’s the translation. Explanations of local municipal matters for English speakers [in brackets].
1. A clear agenda. Tell us exactly what you believe in and what you want to achieve in every area. Otherwise we won’t have a clear picture. I mean every area, including education and youth, but also building projects, promotion of E1, future investments, foreign fundraising strategies, dealing with the inflation on the municipal level (expenses and municipal taxes) etc.
2. Don’t hide information from us. If you believe in raising the municipal tax in order to promote the town, tell us. If you believe in reducing the municipal tax while reducing the quality of the city view, tell us. Every idea has difficulties and disadvantages, and I want to hear from your mouth what the disadvantages are and how you plan to deal with it. Anything else will reduce my trust in you. I have no trust whatsoever in anyone who tries to tell me that his ways will bring us The Final Salvation.
3. Please don’t try to sell us slogans like “promoting the youth” or “promoting the education”. It’s getting ridiculous. Stop telling us what everyone tells us. Tell us what makes your party different from allt the others (and “we’re the only ones who mean it” doesn’t count), and how you intend to reach your goals. In short, prove me wrong when I state that all parties are the same (and throwing dirt on the other parties doesn’t count).
4. A clear schedule. We know you can’t obligate yourselves, but give us an idea of your ideas, including schedule of when things will be done. When will you move the checkpoint? [causes traffic jams to Jerusalem] When will the Kastel museum be opened? [building site that has been delayed many years because of budget shortage] When will you throw away that disgusting lake that pollutes the environment and continues to be a health hazard to our children? [A project that was supposed to be the building of a park a year ago ended because of budget shortage. The only thing built was the artificial lake and someone was stupid enough to fill it with water. The water is now brown and is a great place for all kinds of bacteria, fleas, flies and mosquitoes. The invested money in that project were litteraly thrown in the lake] If it is linked to other people’s decisions, let us know, but explain what you expect to achieve and when.
5. A great advantage would be a commitment to see to it that there are normal air conditioning in all kindergartens. I’ve suggested to my son’s kindergarten teacher that they move the activity to the mayor’s office. I’m sure he has a great air conditioner!
6. Tell us who you are and why we should vote for you. Don’t throw dirt on others. If the only reason you can give me to vote for you is that all the others are scum, then I should better leave the town. I accept that opposition people need to critisize the current municipality in order to explain what you wish to change, but don’t get personal. Just explain what you wish to achieve (and continue also after the elections).
7. Admit your mistakes, and don’t hide information, because everything is eventually revealed. I would have much more trust in someone who actually had the ability to admit his mistakes, explain what he learned from it, and say it loud and clear on his own intiative. Don’t wait for the journalists to drag it out of you. We all make mistakes, and you have nothing to be ashamed about. If you’re afraid that your opponents will use it against you, see point 6. (Kashriel, I want to hear about the lake)
8. Give us facts. What have you done and what have you achieved these past 5 years? Whether in the municipality or outside.
9. Party members that jump from party to party. We know that all parties are the same (“we want to promote the youth and the education”) and we know that your reasons to switch are purely private – private fights with the party leaders, friends who moved and you moved after, etc. Don’t try to sell us stories that you moved for political purposes [After the last “etc.” I had a paranthese where I wrote “or bribes – I really hope I’m wrong” – but the paper censored that part…]
10. And finally – don’t uglify our town by spreading flyers all over the place…