In starting this mayoral campaign and this website, I think it’s important to understand a couple of things that I know about me, my personality (which can be construed as a little weird or different than others) and what are some of my values and beliefs. I believe in transparency so I’m including my personal thoughts here for your knowledge on how I think about key subjects.
I believe in total transparency in public office, with my family, my close friends, and with anyone I do business with. Those who served with me on the Washington County Chamber of Commerce board and all the other entities I’ve helped with know this. I am very comfortable with who I am as a human being. I’m not trying to sound conceited as I have many faults and fight many demons as anyone of us must deal with. But I am comfortable and I truly like the person I’ve become. My number one rule is my number one reason I appreciate who I’ve become. Do the right thing for the right reason. Sometimes I don’t personally or immediately benefit by doing the right thing, sometimes it makes me look bad or even hinders me achieving my goals but in the end, you can never go wrong doing the right thing for the right reasons. It is why I decided to run for Mayor.
Trust. I will not lie. I used to lie, mostly to shield others from what I presumed would hurt their feelings and admittedly, sadly, sometimes to protect others perception of me. When I was younger I lied so much my Father still, to this day, has trouble believing everything I say. My Father and I have a great relationship and I know he loves me very much but it’s a cross liars must bear when they abuse the trust of others, especially loved ones. As I’ve matured and as I strive to become more self-actualized it is clear to me that deceit only serves to damage our own psyche, hurts others and creates negative relationships. Lying, strictly for personal gain, is something I regard as akin to evil. For me, I’ve made a conscious effort to strike the practice of lying from my life. Truth, if harsh or potentially harmful to another, can be silenced or, if directly asked, can be relayed with respect and kindness and I’m still learning to get better at this practice. If it’s a truth that’s personal to me and I’m directly asked, you will know that truth as well regardless of how I think you will judge me.
People. I treat all people with respect and dignity. It really doesn’t matter to me if you are a world renown celebrity, I’ve met many, or if you don’t know where your next meal is coming from and unfortunately I’ve met too many of them as well. I love people and I will support anyone whose heart is decidedly in the right place, especially if they make it their business, as a part of their life, to help others as well. I’m friends with many people from millionaires to children with their whole lives a head of them and I try to treat them all the same. I don’t get star struck or view people with power any differently than the single parent working three minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. I’m sensitive that everyone has different needs from all walks of life and in different stages of their life but I always try to treat people with dignity, it’s a trait my parents instilled in all of us from the beginning. I also don’t get involved with gossip and discount someone’s judgment of another. I reserve the right to formulate my own impression. I also appreciate and respect others opinions that differ from my own. Debating is a great thing that should be nurtured, not discouraged. I try to reflect on the different ideas/opinions and have been known to adopt them as my own. I can tell you absolutely that I am keenly aware of the fact that I, although intelligent, come no where close to knowing it all. I find it fascinating that changing my perspective or way of thinking can open whole new worlds and possibilities.
Conventional Wisdom. It’s my belief conventional wisdom is usually incorrect. In manufacturing or with any processes, there is almost always a better way to do things than what is commonly believed to be the way to get it done. Innovation has proven this time and time again. Henry Fords’ genius was in continuous improvement of processes and ignoring conventional wisdom. I believe strongly in continuous improvement and creative thinking. This applies to personal and business relationships as well. I plan to prove conventional wisdom is wrong about how politics are done in the US as well. I can write for hours on conventional wisdom but suffice it to say when people say, “This is the way we’ve always done it,” or, “This is the only way it can be done,” I cringe. Good is the enemy of great.
Leadership. Trust is the currency of leadership, without earning trust you cannot be a good leader. I have an issue with those who are self-proclaimed leaders. Margaret Thatcher is quoted as saying: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Being a leader is the same way for me. I try to provide leadership, I’ve had leadership roles, but it’s the people with whom I’m working who decide whether I’m any account as a leader. Individuals in public office who impose strictly their agenda on a community aren’t good leaders either. Our government was born to be for the people, by the people. Public officers are representing their community and performing the tasks expected by the community on the community’s behalf. I’m not sure how that is done with an agenda that is created strictly from their own values and beliefs. This is why we are holding neighborhood development meetings. We are doing this to listen to the 6,300 voices in the community and understand what is important to everyone. Unique to this great city, and unique to everyone’s great neighborhoods within the city and unique to their life stage and personal needs. With a bad leader everyone says, “Look what he/she did.” With a good leader everyone says, “Look what we helped he/she do.” With a great leader everyone says, “Look what we did.” Great leadership is not an ego boost for the leader but a pride and confidence booster for everyone working with the great leader. That is my goal. Leadership is another subject of which I can discuss at length but will end this to outlay overall platform ideas on the platform blog. E-Mail me or call me if you have any questions.