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County Councilman Bud Otis

(9/2016) Respect, according to Websterís Dictionary is: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.; a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way; a particular way of thinking about or looking at something.

This is a word I learned as a young child from my parents and family in general. We were instilled with what is considered "old school" values, respect for your elders, those in authority, and to respect each other including peopleís opinions which differ from my own. Growing up I was taught this respect by my parentsí example of listening to varied opinions, researching matters independently, and ultimately come to a thoughtful decision. See, old school!

I feel very fortunate growing up a farm boy in the United States of America and for having traveled to many countries in the world. It is with great pride that I have grown to respect many cultures for their own beauties, religions for their own beliefs, and people for their own opinions and wisdom.

Today it seems, especially on the national stage, that "old fashioned" manners have gone by the wayside. It is sad to me, as I believe that respect is shown and earned, much like trust, integrity and honor. It is a core value for many peoples of this world, and it is my hope that the current trend of open negativity is tempered with more civility, not less.

There are many problems facing our country. What we are seeing on the national political stage seems to influence state and local politics as well. When those in a political arena are free to spread lies, speak whatever comes to mind, rile up their supporters to violence, it is time to take a breath and wonder what it takes to stop the assault on common decency and respect. And, how to curb the tidal wave of insults, negativity and lack of respect.

My thinking is to listen. Listen to all sides. Try to absorb the message, not how the message is being relayed, and againÖ.listen. After contemplation, the source of the issue can be identified and negotiations may begin to define a path to a solution. The Council represents almost 250,000 residents in Frederick County. It is very important to stop and listen to everyone and then be deliberative in all matters. As President, I feel I need to be the most reflective on all matters. We need to get the facts, and not be swayed by the emotions surrounding any issue.

I learned many moons ago that it is part of negotiation to leave the table a bit unhappy. Successful negotiations are done when both parties at the table give a little for the benefit of the overall goal. When President Ronald Reagan negotiated with House Speaker Tip OíNeill he stated that if he could get 70% of what he wanted, then he was satisfied.

As Iíve said many times before, I may not always agree with you, but I will never be disagreeable. I sure hope that continued dialogue will bring many sides to see each otherís position and come to the conclusion that the best way forward is to communicate, debate, dialogue and reach a positive resolution, one that moves the needle forward to solving problems. It will certainly take time, and the effort is worth it.

Respect is a gift Ė a shared gift. Thank you for this opportunity to share some of my views.

Please contact me with your thoughts and concerns at or call 301-600-1101. Iím here to listen and find solutions.

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