eyes on the prize

I want to live in a White Rock that is clean, comfortable, and beautiful with people who are healthy and happy.

I suspect there would be consensus on this statement in the community. Where we find conflict is in 1) how we define those adjectives, 2) the different visions each conjures, and 3) how to achieve them.

The first requires a process or system to facilitate effective communications. Leadership on this is probably best assumed by local government, but for it to work well, ratepayer groups must participate as partners.

The second is entirely subjective. To reach consensus, compromise and open-minded, respectful dialogue are essential. While this must be encouraged and modeled by local government, it is the personal responsibility of each citizen.

The last requires a critical awareness of assumptions and trust in expertise. Those with academic and empirical expertise must engage and be willing to be educators for the community.

The worst thing any of these parties could do is become defensive and insulate themselves, disengage or not participate. We all need to be in the conversation and keep our minds open, listening with empathy, willing to question our own assumptions. Citizens being actively engaged constructively and productively is absolutely necessary.

Each of us has responsibilities in this process. Mine is to listen to your ideas, experiences and persepctives, to share with you what I’ve learned from others, to watch for potential points of consensus and build upon them. Talking with open minds and working together, we can achieve our vision.

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