The city manager’s proposal regarding community participation is one I agree with. However, the bureaucratic and the political process is very cumbersome. At this point most of the energy, financial and intellectual resources are dealing with “the sins of our fathers.” We are drowning in our problems, there is no room for creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

The St. Helena Community Forum, to be effective, has to be free of politics, bureaucracy. It has to be led by a group of “independently functioning individuals,” without the limitations and destructive forces of the political and bureaucratic elements.

A “think tank” should be with individual responsibility and dedication. Thinking requires no money and no permission, it is free for all those that are willing. Give the community a chance, let it be.

We had many different committees dealing with the economy, water issues, environment and several other issues. All these committees have not discovered, and did not reveal anything we did not know beforehand, and we do not know now. We wasted time and money with these illusions and delusions.

The St. Helena Public Library, a political neutral zone, is the place for the St. Helena Community Forum, as the center of communication, reflection and understanding. The focus of the St. Helena Community Forum has to be the future of St. Helena.

We will introduce talking points that are the building blocks of our economic and intellectual existence. The St. Helena Chamber of Commerce is more of a fitting independent entity to play a leading role in the formation of a plan that generates the “The Future of St. Helena.” The Chamber needs a purpose to justify its existence.

The future of our town is the responsibility of all of us, individually and collectively. Creating our future must be a collaborative effort by the community and government, led by and inspired by all of us in our community.

We need creative out-of-box ideas and approaches that can come only from our community.

The St. Helena Community Forum has to be an ongoing affair, no time and restriction, we can attend, one of us, two of us, or many of us, for a free-flowing exchange of ideas. Relevant information will be available for all to reflect on, contemplate and understand. This approach assures continuance and an ongoing meeting of the minds.

Thanks for listening, considering and understanding.

Ferenc Brunner

St. Helena

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