Most of the issues that tend to create conflict and misunderstanding
boil down to lack of respect -- toward a differing point of
view, toward the political process, toward other jurisdictions, toward
the taxpayer, toward the people who have to make decisions knowing full
well they can't please everyone but do the best they can, toward people
with different experience, background, or personality traits. Mutual
respect for one another gives us the opportunity to share our values and
experience for the betterment of all concerned on any given issue.
I believe that if we listen to what others have to say, without
preconceived notions, and try to 'walk a mile in their shoes' in spite
of our limited shared experience, we can get an understanding of what
their true concerns and values are. That does not necessarily mean we
have to agree with them but it does give them the respect they deserve.
Through consultation, even if there are clashes of differing opinion,
a solution can often be found that is a 'win-win'
situation for both sides of an issue. We also have to be willing to change our minds or positions
about a subject if new information gives us a new perspective.
Unity in Diversity
I value the differences between people whether it be through culture,
value systems, education, gender, political or religious persuasion, or
experience. Our diversity gives our society a richness that should be
encouraged and celebrated. Through mutual respect and consultation, a
oneness of purpose develops that creates an environment where the
overall result is greater than the sum of its parts. In spite of our
differences, people are much more alike than they are different.
We are the stewards of our land, water, air, wildlife and community. We
must always strike a balance between the sometimes conflicting uses of
development, agriculture, tourism, community health and well-being and
recreation. On the one hand, our economic prosperity requires
intelligent growth of industrial, commercial, residential,
transportation, utility and recreational development. On the other hand,
our environment needs to be protected against unbridled growth for the
benefit of a few or at the expense of future generations.
My most valued virtues: