Devine would promote citizen engagement

Democrat James Devine said as mayor he would ask the City Council to create the new position of citizen engagement coordinator, in order to help communicate with people, organize an aggressive volunteer program, and serve as a conduit for public comments and ideas.

The citizen engagement coordinator would spend time meeting community members, assisting with a broad range of outreach, and focusing on an expansive citizen engagement program.

This new program would aim to capture a wide audience of Rahway’s citizens and make it easier for you to get involved.

Devine said he would develop a Citizen Engagement Plan, which will forge a better connection between people and City Hall.

"I want to increase the city government's access to its citizens' ideas and expertise, because Rahway has enormous resources among its 'human capital' but those are not being exploited for the common good," said Devine.

"City Hall should make information about participation more transparent, accessible and interactive for all citizens," said Devine. "That is the only way to engage capable, motivated potential volunteers in projects that they care about and will improve the community."

"We are all in this together, so we have a lot to gain if we improve the collaborative processes among municipal staff, city council, the school system and concerned citizens," said Devine. "While we have had an incredible transformation of bricks and mortar, Rahway has not made progress with flesh and blood."

"The whole reason for having a government is for people to work together to achieve common goals," said Devine. "I would prefer to stop car accidents than collect a million dollars from red light cameras. I would rather host after school activities for our kids than rent out the Rec Center for pro wrestling matches."

"Instead of running the city like a business, we should operate as a government dedicated to serving people without concern for profit," said Devine. "We can be financially responsible with losing sight of our purpose."

The ultimate goal of increased citizen engagement would be to make the city budget a values-based set of spending priorities, aimed at making people safe, secure and happy, and to improve the quality of service coming from City Hall.

A key component of the process would be a Citizen Budget Advisory Committee.