I am writing to you today to encourage you to vote for Bob Edwards for mayor. Although I am not a resident of your beautiful area, I worked closely with Bob for six years. He was Director of the Michigan Employment Security Commission [MESC] and I was President of the Union which represented the "front-line" workers.
We had been "thrown together" when Bob was appointed director. Our first thought was "just another political appointee" in a long line of directors who were never seen and had no relationship with the front-line workers or the Union. Perhaps Bob wondered how he was going to deal with these "union folks" who could make his job harder.
We developed a very positive relationship because we had the same goals, -- providing the highest level of services to the public and, to Bob's credit, recognizing that the workers we represented were the "ambassadors" to the public.
Bob said that the front-line worker was the most important person in the agency and his job was the least important. He immediately "walked his talk" by insuring staff had the skills, training, and tools needed to perform their jobs.
We demonstrated to the public, that the MESC was more than just a place to get your unemployment check. Rather, services were also available for assistance in job seeking.
Bob instituted a plan to update the offices to be more professional, efficient and customer friendly.
He did not just "dress up" the offices.
One of the most telling things about Bob as director was the "royal visit" to the offices. Previously, directors would visit with their entourage, talk with the manager and leave. Bob would quietly slip into an office, alone and talk with the front-line workers.
He wanted to see if they had the tools they needed to do their job. This was a shock because the workers had never met a director.
He always said, "Call me Bob" instead of Mr. Edwards.
Bob Edwards is a man of integrity, he has no hidden agenda, and the work he would do as mayor will be for the greater good of all of the citizens of Payson.
If I lived there, I would be at the front of the line to assist in getting him elected.
Victoria L. Cook, Fairfield, Calif.