Too often, we tend to look at simply our own narrow view of the world. But different cultures gives way to many interpretations of life, governance, traditions and other desires. For two weeks that I'm in the U.S. I have learned more than what I've expected and my goals is highly overcome and my challenge today is where and how to start sharing the things I've learned in the Midwest.
Dubuque, Iowa is a small City seated at the bank of Mississippi River. The population is around 58,000 densely resided by Catholics with aging population. The wide age gap has been static good thing is the community is able to sustain the services of government, business and other social institutions.
What is really interesting in Dubuque and most ICMA host cities is the autonomy of the local government units to run their government fitted to its culture, people, and community at large. The system of LGU is vastly different from what we have in the Philippines. Where in our country most of the government position is elective positions and it's a full time office therefore, politicians such as the mayor down to the council are paid by the government with enormous budgets for deliver their respective platforms. In the U.S. Is quite the opposite, the officials held official duties as mayor, council members simply as an elected position without political budgets to maintain their offices therefore, these officials have another occupation to attend to during day time. The city council meetings and sessions are usually held in the evening presided by the City Mayor. So you might be wondering who is running the government? The operations in the LGU is mainly managed by the city manager or equivalent to city administrator in the Philippines. So what's so unique with the system? What is good about the system is the cessation of political interests over the government elected positions therefore, the lesser the tendencies of corruption and bribery in accommodating business and other similar private interests.
Dubuque's effort in retaining people to stay in the city shows their dedication to maintain and attain their ultimate goal which is sustainable community. This goal is the very heart that pushes development and progress of the city. The public-private partnership has been strengthened which means the government has been trusted so much that the community shared their vision with the local government.
Indeed, it takes one person to look beyond what he sees and appreciate the unspoken reality that indeed government works if the people in and out of it cares.