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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Patti

Principles of Good Governance: Adhering to the Will of the People

Principles of Good Governance

In this op-ed series, we delve into the principles of good governance, drawing inspiration from a variety of real-world experiences to illuminate the key factors that contribute to effective and accountable governance. As Mayor Pro Tempore of Holly Ridge, I will be using my real experiences to write an honest op-ed series on good governance, where I'll share insights and lessons learned to contribute to the well-being and progress of Holly Ridge. Each piece explores different aspects of governance, emphasizing transparent communication, collaboration, and the responsible handling of confidential matters. The series aims to provide insights into the universal challenges and successes of governance, offering valuable lessons applicable to diverse contexts for the establishment of robust, responsive, and accountable public institutions.


In the pursuit of an effective and just government, one of the fundamental principles that must be upheld is the unwavering commitment to the will of the people. Democracy, at its core, thrives on the active participation and consent of the governed. In this second installment of our series on the Principles of Good Government, we delve into article two, focusing on the importance of decision-making by elected councils that align with the desires and aspirations of the population they serve.

1. Council Decisions Detached from Personal Interests

  A cornerstone of good governance is the recognition that those entrusted with making decisions on behalf of the public must act selflessly and without personal bias. It is imperative for council members to rise above personal interests and consider the greater good. Decisions made by the council should be driven by a dedication to public service rather than personal gain. By divorcing decisions from personal interests, the council ensures that policies are shaped with the welfare of the community in mind. This commitment establishes a foundation of trust between the governing body and the citizens, fostering an environment where the public can rely on the integrity of their representatives.

  2. Openness to Change Reflecting Current Population Desires

  A dynamic and responsive government is crucial for the well-being of society. Adhering to the will of the people underscores the necessity for the council to be open to change, adapting policies and strategies to align with the evolving needs and desires of the current population. The demographic, social, and economic landscape of a community is subject to change, and a government that remains stagnant risks losing touch with the pulse of its people.

  An open-minded approach to governance allows for the incorporation of new ideas, perspectives, and innovations. This adaptability ensures that the government remains relevant and effective in addressing the challenges and aspirations of the population it serves. It is through this flexibility that a government can truly reflect the will of the people, embracing the dynamic nature of society.

  3. Transparency in Decision-Making

  Central to the principle of adhering to the will of the people is transparency in decision-making. This emphasizes the importance of openness and clarity in the council's deliberations and actions. Transparent governance builds trust and confidence among the citizens, as they are kept informed about the decision-making processes and the factors influencing policies.

  By providing clear information on the rationale behind decisions, the council invites public participation and scrutiny. This transparency not only holds the government accountable but also empowers citizens to actively engage in the democratic process. Informed citizens are better equipped to contribute meaningfully to the shaping of their community's future.

  In conclusion, adhering to the will of the people is a vital principle of government. A government that upholds this principle through unbiased decision-making, openness to change, and transparency establishes a foundation for a thriving and democratic society. As we explore further principles in this series, the overarching theme remains clear: effective governance is rooted in the empowerment and representation of the people it serves.


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