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One of the most basic and important core values for me is honesty. I love this simplistic quote by philanthropist W. Clement Stone: "Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity." I believe we should be proud of our choices and admit when we have made a mistake, learn from it, and move on. As public stewards, our communities should be confident that our decisions are based in truth.
I believe good governance happens when the democratic process reflects values like community engagement, transparency, accountability, efficiency, and responsiveness. These standards enhance community confidence, and ultimately lead to better decisions that reflect the broad interests of the community. My role is to ensure these principles are entrenched in our day-to-day work as we carry out the Council's goals and priorities, and in policy recommendations for Council consideration.
One of the reasons I chose local government as a profession is because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I love the fact I can help shape a community and move it forward — I can't imagine a better way to start my day. As public leaders, we have an opportunity to cultivate a positive relationship with residents and businesses and work together to make good things happen. My priority is to serve the Council, the community, and organization with a passion that builds a foundation of trust and pride.
We must speak with one voice and act as a unified organization. As leaders, we must look beyond our respective departments and divisions and see the forest through the trees. We must act for the good of the whole. Respectful disagreement and constructive feedback are essential to problem solving, but once a course of action has been determined, we must collectively be committed to that decision. Helen Keller reminds us that, "alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
I want everything I do to be the best and encourage others to set the bar equally high. Because we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act, but a habit. Communities don't expect perfection but demand a standard that generates quality results. To achieve this, we must put best practices into action, and not compromise our long-term goals for short-term results.
I try not to take myself seriously and pride myself on having a good sense of humor. Research shows that fun in the workplace reduces stress and improves productivity and morale. If you can laugh together, you can work together.