To The Daily Sun,
Three skills summarize what is needed in the choice of a selectman: (1) creation and management of a multimillion-dollar budget, (2) balancing public and private interests in all issues coming before the Selectboard, and (3) ability to be a team member of the Selectboard, listening with an open mind to the views of the other members and then, with critical thinking, take positions and being able kindly to explain one's position. The town budget is clearly the most important but the success of the board requires the other two!
Eight candidates are running for two openings on the Meredith ballot, three of whom meet or show high promise of meeting these criteria: Ray Moritz, Bev Lapham and Jonathan James.
Ray's business experience and success depended on team leadership and financial skills and he is valued in bringing those skills to our community.
Bev Lapham is also highly qualified by his many years as a top bank manager, enabler to small-business people by granting of loans, and his financial management skill evident in his ownership of a local business.
Jonathan James managed the $2-million property operation budget of Tilton School, and shows promise of a short learning curve in municipal fund accounting required on the Selectboard. These three are "heads and shoulders" above all the other candidates in the basic requirement of being a Selectboard member.
Listen carefully to what each of the eight candidates say about themselves and their qualities. They have already sorted themselves out in terms of financial management skills, and only Ray, Bev and Jonathan prevailed. They have also in public given clues as to their stance in terms of public and private rights, ability and experience in team building, and skill in critical thinking. Again, Ray, Bev and Jonathan rise to the top on these qualities.
In conclusion, consider the skill of critical thinking that is central to what is required of a selectman. Critical thinking requires that a person look at every issue with an open mind. This means that we must each be aware of our own biases and not allow them to pre-determine what our conclusions will be. It requires that we refrain completely from thinking how stupid are people who differ from us; and, conversely, to listen to and learn from those with ideas different from our own. In this way, better ideas emerge, we grow in understanding that there are intelligent views beyond our own, and this mutual respect heightens the team work that leads to better results for the community.
Political life in our country, and world, is characterized by a lack of critical thinking, and the use of code words that reflect distrust of the open discussion required in a democracy. People with a lack of critical thinking tend to foster "anti-team work", and polarity in our society. Ray, Bev, and Jonathan give great evidence of thinking critically.
In Meredith, there are only two openings on the ballot. I have decided who gets my votes. I ask each citizen to vote with critical thinking and then to use their influence to get the third "musketeer" appointed by the new Selectboard for one of the two remaining openings.
Miller C. Lovett
- Category: Letters
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