Letter: New voices on boards are gifts

Published 8:47 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

Gary Hagen is my friend, and I endorse his running for council. We so often judge folks without being aware of why they aspire to gain such status. Gary attends every council meeting. He questions the issues because of his desire to induce change, and it is not only his voice that wants to be heard. The present council’s proclivity toward a citizen’s beliefs is not always welcoming. They appear to know better; they seem not to hear or listen. Larry Baker, also a dear friend, used to be the best listener I knew. Larry would say “I hear you saying this,” and it was extremely genuine and powerful. His listening offered a compassion and a great generosity of spirit. I long for that compassion in every candidate. I long for a respect and honor toward one another. You do not have to agree with  me; we can beg to disagree, but do not treat me lesser for our difference.

I sometimes wonder if there is not an ego drive that consumes each of us, as we assume city roles as mayor, councilman, commissioners and other civic duty folks. And if that occurs, do we lose our truth? Do we succumb to the influence of others who are climbing up — others who are not all for one and one for all?

I am so aware of how important change is and how change allows growth. When we do not experience change, your beliefs sabotage someone else’s inspiration and eliminates new and positive transformation. We are intelligent folks. We must remain open to new and constant change for our community, children, grandchildren, etc. Change is good, and it is the only thing that lasts.

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Please be aware that new voices on our council, mayoral and other boards are a gift. And for those of you who have served, thank you. There are so many other avenues for you to choose about your passion; seek them out. Give someone else a chance.

Please vote for change. We deserve it. Albert Lea aspires to embrace new avenues, choosing to remain in power without making change, inhibits our ability to the growth we want, deserve and are entitled to. Being open to new and different political occurrences will not harm  you; it will enlighten and enhance us and our community.

Please select new representatives to gain new perspective, and allow a fairness to preside, but, mostly, please vote.

We seem to desire the same end, betterment for one another.

Mary Packer Umstead

Albert Lea