I look at a mayor as more than a political vote, even though that’s all the “power” he/she really has. I look at a mayor as the lead representative of a city. A mayor is the face of their city in local, regional and sometimes state and national issues. A mayor needs to possess experience, intelligence, humility, integrity, wisdom, and the greater knowledge of how companies and businesses work. The city is a business and the mayor is the leader of this business.
Over the years I’ve seen St. Helena mayors have this title for various reasons, sometimes with a personal agenda and some with no qualifications to be mayor. We deal with some of those poor emotional decisions now, many years later. Some have run unopposed and won. In 2014 Mayor Galbraith was elected and immediately tasked with fixing a system so broken that even he didn’t know the enormity of it until elected and even then, it took months and months of unraveling years of mismanagement by city managers and council alike.
While campaigning, he over-promised a few things to our business district and had to eat his words when he discovered there was no money to pay for some of his promises. I wasn’t happy but had to be patient and trust him. He kept digging and fixing, with intensity and focus.
There was no one I would rather have in this position than Mayor Alan Galbraith and this city owes him a debt of gratitude for personally leading us through a very bleak financial situation. He did this without judgment or blaming the past, and he did it with wisdom, passion, dedication and his vast experience. He has united city staff, inspired change in city governance, and has overseen tough personnel decisions.
Great leaders are usually great communicators, and while this might be one of Mayor Galbraith’s weaknesses, he has always been responsive and open with me when I have questions or concerns. When I disagree or when I am confused about an issue, Alan has always been quick to respond to educate me on the facts and to answer any questions I might have.
We don’t always agree with the outcome, but I trust his facts as he knows them because he researches everything with a vigor that most don’t possess. If he doesn’t know the answer to my question, he asks the appropriate authority and responds within 24 hours. He doesn’t make decisions on emotion, he makes decisions on facts and researched information.
Mayor Alan Galbraith has the respect and endorsement of every elected official in the Napa Valley (outside of St. Helena), as well as some state and national elected officials. He is respected locally and statewide for his wisdom and reputation as someone who can collaborate with others to get things done. Alan is who I want for our lead representative, our mayor. He is the best and most qualified for this position as we continue to navigate ourselves to a better future. Our current surplus is indeed good news, but I applaud a conservative approach to this news because I know we have a lot of catching up to do, and we are not out of the weeds yet. I want Mayor Alan Galbraith to continue to lead our council for the next term. He has my confidence and my vote.
Mayor Alan is the leader I want in the time of our city’s history.