(2/2018) Over the past few months, it has become crystal clear to me that personal values, principles and determination are critically important when faced with various levels of opposition.
I have been very consistent in my efforts over the past three years to listen to the public on the assorted issues which come before the Frederick County Council. It is imperative to absorb information from different sources ? pros and cons from the public, our county staff, attorneys and subject matter experts. It is a source of humility
in listening to all viewpoints as there are nuances to concerns that other perspectives help me more comprehensively understand. It allows me the opportunity to be objective once my personal research has been done and stakeholder points are considered.
This public service position is very serious to me. I was elected to serve all residents of Frederick County ? not just those who are the most vocal. It becomes personal only when rude attacks are levied against me without even asking my understanding of an issue or basis for my concerns and decisions.
I take criticism with the mindset to understand the rationale of that person?s view. My perspective may or may not change after reaching an evaluation of the other person?s criticism.
I came from a background which included an upbringing on a farm, a pastor as a father, becoming a CEO of an international business, and working for Congress. Many times throughout this journey differing opinions have been able to enlighten me to ideas never before considered. Open minds are listening ears. God gave us two ears and one mouth
expecting us to listen twice as much as we speak. Times now indicate that it is ever more crucial to listen. When we have different opinions, it is my perspective to listen.
In the end, after all materials and data are considered, I may or may not agree. However the person may behave, it is ? in my opinion ? an opportunity for respect. Respect for the opposing view. That being said, it has been my posture to respect that individual, regardless of position, and to keep civil and dignified behavior. However, I
have also realized that un-based criticism to simply offend, does not lend itself to being a valid argument.
In the past several weeks I have come under vehement attack for my position as part of the majority of the Council to table a couple of the County Executive?s bills. In asking for more time to evaluate impacts from these two bills, I have also been accused of betraying my supporters. Please note that my perspective and purpose remains the
same. I am a public servant.
The current situation before the County Council ? bills which affect revenue generation ? I see as parts of a puzzle. I had been waiting to receive an anticipated Impact Fee Bill ? which would have completed the puzzle. Gratefully, in a phone conversation with CE Gardner on Thursday, 1.18.18, she assured me she had no plans to bring forth
any Impact Fee Bill.
Therefore, I will bring these bills, the DRRA and School Construction Fees to a public hearing, and continue the legislative process.
I come from a generation and belief system that considers ?compromise? a good word. That seems not the case in our times now. However, it is critical to good agreements, contracts and legislation. And, I will continue to work with many people to craft and move the best legislation forward for our citizens. We?re all in this together.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. I?d love to hear from you. BOtis@frederickcountymd.gov or 301-600-1101.