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Doing their homework

By Staff | Feb 18, 2009

To the editor,

From my seat at City Council and Planning Commission meetings, I’ve come to the conclusion that people who are effective in these positions share certain characteristics. They do their homework.

They don’t just read the briefing book, they investigate the issues – learn the background. They are active listeners. They engage in what others say, making an effort to understand some one else’s perspective. They look for ways to incorporate various ideas into a cohesive course of action. They think possible solutions through to avoid undesirable consequences. They are able to absorb and work with the system to achieve desired goals. Government comes with its own set of rules, regulations and legal requirements. There is nothing to be gained, and a great deal to be lost, in not accepting that as fact and working on making it work.

A lot of this is mind set, some of it is temperament. We need our leaders to check their egos at the door and remember they volunteered to serve the whole community. The community wants to be confident that their leaders are there for all of us not private purposes, or the wishes of their friends. It’s always a good idea for us to talk to each other, not at or about each other. That would be very helpful now in election season.

And that’s what I see from my seat.

Karen A. Storjohann

Sanibel