Eckburg: Public servants should meet expectations — do your research


Collegian | Brian Peña

Bella Eckburg, Opinion Director

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Public servants tend to come in the form of government officials, but in our current political climate, it seems our expectations about what public servants should be doing for the public are a little blurry. 


Someone serving the public should represent the public, which is why we are in charge of electing these officials. This is also why it’s so important for anyone who can vote to make sure they do in every election. Although a lot of people focus on national elections or statewide elections, local elections are an area that allows one to get a feel for politics.

Fort Collins has municipal elections in odd years on the first Tuesday of November — which would include 2023. During these elections, we will elect a new mayor, who will serve for two years, and three council members, who will each serve for four years. All of these elections are nonpartisan, meaning the candidates do not run with an affiliation with any political party. 

This is a great way to get introduced to politics without having to directly identify with a party and the people actually running. So what should we expect from these people?

A mayor should advocate for the welfare of the city they represent, and this should equally include all citizens. They should have an awareness of the issues plaguing the city and live within it.

U+2 — an ordinance that prevents more than three unrelated adults from living together — has been popping up in conversations about FoCo politics for years. Although the city’s demographic has expanded to include a lot of single college students living together, the policies about the limited number of people who can live in one housing property have stayed relatively the same. This often forces college students to risk fines by continuing to live together because the alternative is too expensive. 

“Smaller public servant positions like mayor or city council member are simply closer to everyday people. It’s hard to have a single president represent everyone, but being able to listen and act is the first step.”

The Associated Students of Colorado State University hosted a barbecue at the City Council meeting April 4 in support of putting U+2 on the ballot, and many CSU students spoke in favor of adapting living ordinances

District 2, District 4 and District 6 all have elections coming up Nov. 7, and this barbecue shows that students do have a voice in the community.

Our current mayor of Fort Collins, Jennifer Arndt, was born and raised in Colorado, and she attended college in the state as well. This likely gives her an understanding of what it is like to grow up here, allowing her to address issues from a local point of view. 

On a broader scale, it’s clear that, historically, United States presidents have not represented all of the people they serve, and the actual services they’re meant to perform seem few and far between. When politics become strongly divided on party lines, it’s difficult to enact change due to pushback from multiple sides. 


Smaller public servant positions like mayor or city council member are simply closer to everyday people. It’s hard to have a single president represent everyone, but being able to listen and act is the first step. 

The political showboating we’ve seen over the last eight years has fundamentally changed people’s expectations of government officials — it’s not about who is more right- or left-winged; it’s about protecting the people these officials promised to serve when they were elected. 

Your vote ensures you are being represented, and you should do your due diligence to ensure the candidate you’re voting for is willing to listen and act. 

Reach Bella Eckburg at or on Twitter @yaycolor.