Kevin Patterson
Special to AFN

When I was a young man growing up in Ahwatukee, I made the typical mistakes young people do.

I talked back to my parents. I didn’t always turn in my homework on time, or show up to school. Despite these errors, I always knew that I would be held accountable by someone, whether it was my parents or the administrators at my school.

I knew that I couldn’t just get away with not doing my job as a son or as a student, so why wouldn’t the same hold true for our city councilman?

When Councilman Sal DiCiccio takes a vote on the City Council, he is supposed to be representing us, our values and what will most benefit this community.

Councilman DiCiccio has represented this community for more than a decade, and in that time, he has become less and less accountable to families like ours, and in Ahwatukee, it really shows.

Councilman DiCiccio claims to have “won 500 more police officers,” but recently voted against the budget that added 217 more police to our streets. How does that add up?

He decries the fact that emergency response times in Ahwatukee are higher than ever, and that only three police patrol our streets at a time. But when asked about the issue by constituents, he resorts to juvenile tactics like blocking them on social media. Where’s the accountability in that?

Further, Councilman DiCiccio claims to have “fought for after-school programs for kids,” but voted against the budget that funds these critical programs that give opportunity and access to services for youth.

I spoke with a single mother recently who said that the only thing she wanted from the city was for the community center near her home to be open a little later so that she could pick up her children after work, instead of leaving them alone late at night. She didn’t even know Sal was her councilman.

Like any job, an individual should be held accountable, given time to improve, or removed for low performance. The same accountability is critical as a public official.

Over a decade is long enough to show improvement for our councilman. I accept that level of accountability. I want to hear from you, whether you agree with me or not, about how we can constructively work together to make Phoenix a place full of opportunity and happiness for all of us.

 I promise that if I am so fortunate to be your city councilman, my office is always open for your voice.

Let’s say yes to accountability for our public officials. It’s far past time we did.

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