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Mayor's moment: Expert advice

September 13, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

Today is my sister's 50th birthday! It is bittersweet, because the celebration in her presence is taking place in heaven.

Many may not know that my sister, Vemetric Smith-Foster, passed away on October 22, 2017, due to complications of Sickle Cell Disease. She was only 46 years old, but when diagnosed at the age of 5 the doctors said she would not live to see 18 years old. I thank God for allowing her to defy the odds and prove that His word is the ultimate word!

My sister's birthday has nothing to do with the processes and procedures of this city. I am sharing her story in an effort to demonstrate that things are not always what they seem, even to people who have the expertise to see the facts.

Vemetric went on to graduate from high school, work in the El Dorado School District as a paraprofessional, at Stage Department Store and finally as a bank teller with Simmons Bank being her employer at the time of death. In all these areas of employment she served! To all the children and customers she encountered, I am sure they are grateful the doctors were wrong.

Our city is filled with processes and procedures that are changed from time to time. It would seem that those who make the changes are "experts" in implementation to assure the changes are beneficial and seamless to those providing and receiving the services. Customer service to our citizens should be just as important to our city employees as it is to businesses and their customers. When that does not happen, it is major problem for our citizens and ultimately our city employees.

My administration has witnessed many changes. Some of them have proved to be beneficial to the citizens. My "open door" policy was put in place to give the citizens the access to my office they should have always had in the past. It is impossible to serve people that you don't meet with or speak with to understand their situation. There have been citizens who have talked with me about issues that they have dealt with for years, but never had a listening ear for a solution.

Unfortunately, in some cases too much time has passed and too much damage has been done to rectify some of the issues they present. This proves that in times past the processes and procedures either did not benefit citizens or they were not understood by the citizens they were designed to protect.

I am faced with the situation of having to educate our citizens on processes and procedures that are changing. Some of them have changed to serve the city more efficiently. Some have changed for reasons to better serve those who are seeking power rather than an avenue of service. In all changes the most important concept should be service.

We must all be working together to make sure wonderful customer service is being displayed and received. I continue to ask for your input on the processes and procedures of this city. While I do not have the power to make all the changes, you have the power as citizens to demand changes that better serve this entire city.

I maintain my motto "if you work with me, I'll work for you!" As my sister's legacy continues to live on through me, I pray I am giving you all amazing customer service!

Veronica Smith-Creer is the Mayor of El Dorado. She can be reached at [email protected]

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