Top Ten Things I Learned My First Year in Elected Office

10. People will be mean and nasty simply because I am in elected office. It’s not personal.

9. People will respect me simply because I put myself out to be in elected office. It’s not personal.

8. If you’re not going to be able to sleep at night because you decide not to say something or not to vote a certain way, then say it, vote it and sleep.

7. Judging who is acting in good faith and who is not is central to building trust but should never dictate what you decide is the right thing to do.

6. There are approximately 6000 citizens in the City of Pepper Pike.  Rounding off in estimates: That’s 1000 more than are registered to vote, 3000 more than voted in our August special election and about 5960 more than have ever been to City Council meetings.  As a member of Council, however, I have to consider each and every one – regardless of whether they are registered to vote, eligible to vote, voted or have ever been to a Council meeting.

5. Listening is critical, but critical thinking and discussion shaped by critique is equally important.

4. I don’t know everything but thinking that I can and will eventually has led me to learn more about this City in twelve months than most citizens will in 12 years.

3. If you don’t like politics as usual, find the unusual path to serving the best interests of the City.

2. Our employees should be treated with dignity and respect and not as throwaway commodities. We should never underestimate the value they give to the city we’ve chosen to live in, no matter how difficult the decision-making becomes.

1. I am one of the luckiest people to have ever walked this Earth.  Thank you for letting me serve this City.

Happy New Year.

This is cross-posted from my council-related blog, In The Arena.  Please consider following it in 2011 – Pepper Pike will have candidates for mayor and three council seats in 2011.  It should be a very different year – again – in Pepper Pike.

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