Getting to Know Your Local City Council Members
The easiest way to meet city council members is to meet them at an event. Usually city council members have a phone number that is listed. Many will not ever answer the phone, but events they must be cordial and open to all. Explain who you are and your business and thank them for some endeavor they feel strongly about in the city. If they are too busy to talk with, then make friends with everyone who talks to them and make sure they get a business card too.
If you make friends with all their neighbors and they see you, you will obviously make an impression. A perception - politicians are always dealing with perceptions. So turn the tables a little. Other ways to meet city council members is to find out things about them from neighbors such as:
What service clubs they belong to
What school their children go to
What church or temple they attend
What pet projects they like
If your city is set up with a Mayor, city manager and council people you will additionally have to meet them all. To meet your city manager this requires a completely different approach. City managers usually rely on many vendors and special relationships that go way back. It is important to know the movers and shakers of the town especially those 'Good ol' boys' who do contract consulting with the city. A good city manager can usually get someone to do a report that shows figures any way they want.
You should be doing business with those companies who support the city through contract consulting or major contracts. Also builders, shopping center owner/managers and large employers are generally on the city managers list of close contacts. One idea is to try to get on the Mayors Task force of small businesses, there is a time commitment, but it is worth it. If you find difficulty getting on the board of such a group look to your chamber of commerce to assist, no matter how large the group everyone needs volunteers and people who can get stuff done. This is serious politics. Be friends with everyone. Never take sides. If anyone asks you how you feel about an issue simply say:
"I think that's very important."
If forced into an issue, listen, ask questions and agree 100% with the side and opinion of who ever you are talking to. It's not lying. It's surviving and it's a taste of their own medicine. They deserve it. All politics is local and they are all scoundrels anyway, if you can't throw them very hard, the trust ought to be about the same distance. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
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