Viewpiont: Interest, teamwork should be weighed for Cottage Grove council picksIt is human nature to think that if someone does not agree with us that they are not listening, but we are actually collecting the facts, yours included, in order to make sound decisions and hopefully satisfy most of the people.
By: Dave Thiede, South Washington County Bulletin
Well, it is election time again and you are trying to decide who to vote for. I am not up for re-election this year but I thought I would provide some comparison logic to the process of making your decision. Ultimately it is your decision and I am not going to tell you who to vote for.
-- Having been on Cottage Grove commissions for seven years City Council for two, I think it is very important for someone to have participated on commissions before becoming a council member. There is so much that a person does not understand and spending time on a commission gives that person some knowledge and it shows that a person wants to help the city improve and is not in the race because they are upset about an issue. There are so many factors that weigh into a major decision. No matter which decision you make, someone is not going to be happy. When I was a “young, snotty nosed” manufacturing engineer, I was really trying to please everyone and soon realized that was too lofty a goal, so I tried to look at all the facts to make decisions based on that and hopefully satisfy a majority of the people. So I would recommend that you look at the candidates and strongly consider how much city experience they have. And, if they are really interested in helping the city and community, they will apply for a commission spot after the election.
-- I hate negative ads. In fact, when they come on I just tune them out and, for me, it is a strike against whoever is putting them out. I always try to look at what is good about a person or situation and think more about what could be better. Believe it or not, based on the facts, Cottage Grove is doing very well. Are there places we need to improve? Absolutely. I tell my employees who come whining to me about all sorts of bad things to stop, think about it and come back to me with some ideas of how to solve the issues and not just complaints. The ideas need to have more substance than, “I would create more jobs.” Everyone wants to create more jobs. What are your ideas and, as part of a team, how are you going to do it?
-- How does the candidate come across — a lone wolf or a team member? If one person tells you they are going to promise to do this or do that, I lose interest. The reality is they need to be part of a team. No matter what type of task it is — a project team or a council — they need to work together. They may not always agree but when a decision is made the team needs to work together to get optimum results and not ways to make it fail.
Look at the composition of the team. As with any team it is good to have a diversity of skills, experience and personality to truly provide better input to review the decisions to be made.
Well, that is long enough. That should narrow down the candidates quite a bit. Anyone wishing to discuss it further, don’t hesitate to contact me.
One last thought. I know for a fact we all listen. I listen closer when someone presents the facts in a non-distorted and polite fashion. Being on the council we get input from a wide array of individuals. It is human nature to think that if someone does not agree with us that they are not listening, but we are actually collecting the facts, yours included, in order to make sound decisions and hopefully satisfy most of the people.
Thanks for listening.