One of the things you must expect with public office is public scrutiny. I have shared many times that I am not thin skinned, so I have learned not to take everything personal. Some things that are ultimately meant to be personal attack against me also ends up being an attack on others. It is unfortunate that some would rather share opinions and rumors instead of facts.
Last week was an example of spreading information intended to be an attack on me and the staff of city hall. A council member sent an email with concerns addressed to me that included the other council members, department heads, the city clerk, city attorney and the media. The email contained information that was not accurate.While that is not the issue, since those inaccuracies were addressed, the problem occurred through someone sharing that information with others. At least one person felt the need to blast the information on social media.
I am a fan of social media and all types of media for that matter. It is how we get information to the masses! I am grateful for the efficiency of spreading the word through the newspaper, television and radio. While they have instances of being immediate at times, these sources may not be in real time. They each are, however, extremely beneficial for getting accurate information. Reporters and radio hosts do their due diligence to get the facts straight either during the interview, before or after. When things are miscommunicated, misprinted or misrepresented they will issue a correction and if necessary, a retraction. Social media unfortunately does not offer the same accuracy and does not fact check. Individuals have the luxury of sharing their opinions or what they perceive to facts for everyone to see and even believe.
Again, I do not have a problem with people’s opinions of me. I learned a very, long time ago that opinions of me are not my business. My business lies in providing a lifestyle where the facts are provided to those who care to know them. I do have an issue with opinions of the work being done by the staff of city hall and the running of the city are passed off as facts without taking the responsibility of the chaos and destruction it may cause. There are citizens of this city that trust the word of elected officials to be the truth. They expect us to share valid information that speaks the facts of the situations we share. It is imperative to represent our positions with integrity and to be trustworthy.
My position requires me to serve the city of El Dorado. I take it very seriously and I hope that has been evident. Serving you does not mean I will never make mistakes. No one seriously expects me to be perfect, but all of you should expect me to be honest. That expectation should hold true for all community leaders and elected officials. You not required to believe everything you see or hear. You should take advantage of the opportunity to get the facts yourself. Mistakes can be corrected, but rumors just cause confusion. Let us also remember that a little bit of truth surrounded by opinion is not a fact.
Veronica Smith-Creer is the Mayor of El Dorado. She can be reached at [email protected]