I believe in representative government, meaning a council member represents the citizens, not their own agenda.
When an elected official can provide leadership, and convince constituents of the merit of an idea, a solution, a development project, a budgetary decision based on information and analysis present by staff or consultants, then I believe you’ve done your job as an “elected representative”.
If what I want differs from what my constituents want, I feel that I must vote for what the people want; that my role is lead if I can, but vote for what the people want.
We may not always agree, but your trust in me to fulfill my duties, and honoring my oath of office, are not negotiable. The voters are the boss.
Its my job to get the public reliable information and analysis, and openly communicate with you, with respect as stakeholders, even if I disagree with what you want or support.
It’s also important to me to try reaching consensus, both among stakeholders and other elected representatives on the city council, but not at the expense of, or indifference to, those who elect me to the city council.
An interesting read about this dilemma was published in a blog post from the University of Chicago Stigler Center, Booth School of Business:
Study: Politicians Vote Against the Will of Their Constituents 35 Percent of the Time 06/16/2017 – Asher Schechter
Excerpt from blog quoting Professor John G. Matsusaka of the University of Southern California:
What Matsusaka finds is that most of the time, “representation” works: 65 percent of the time, legislators’ votes correlated with the positions of their constituents. While 65 percent “is better than the 50 percent rate of congruence that would occur if legislators simply flipped a coin when voting,” he notes, it is still “less than one might hope.”
The people of Rancho Cordova will be represented 100% of the time if I serve you on the Rancho Cordova City Council. I am deeply committed to this principle.