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Letter: Lamorinda Weekly "Bring civility back with Gerringer" Kathy Merchant

Bring civility back with Gerringer

Like all communities, Lafayette has had its share of growing pains. With visionary leadership, City Council, city staff and a collaborative citizenry have brought us amenities like the Library and Learning Center, Lafayette Park Hotel, and Veterans Memorial. But change always brings angst. Over the decades, Lafayette’s engaged citizens have a long tradition of vigorous but always respectful debate about the town’s future. In the past year, this collegial spirit of tolerance of diverse perspectives has been drowned out less by policy debates than personal attacks on city staff, neighbors with whom we disagree, and most shockingly by two city council candidates disparaging their fellow candidates at Candidates Night and in campaign literature. In response, for the first time that I can recall, nine past mayors have signed a joint letter to Lafayette citizens expressing their concern over this degraded dialogue and have endorsed Teresa Gerringer and Karen Maggio for City Council.
I, too, believe Teresa Gerringer is the stand-out candidate for City Council. At this moment of transition, Lafayette needs tested, collaborative, visionary and above-all positive leadership to navigate the next decade. It’s a privilege to endorse her candidacy. Teresa’s contributions to Lafayette span over 20 years, with highlights including co-chairing the Library Community Campaign and serving on the founding board, 19 years on the Lafayette School Board, founding member of the Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce Advisor, and VP Contra Costa School Boards Association. As School Board President, she successfully guided challenging financial negotiations with the state, brought resolution to often passionate debates over complex issues, and always led with humor and grace in sometimes tense situations. She has received numerous state and local recognition awards for distinguished service. Importantly, she has always astutely avoided any conflicts of interest.
It’s time to take stock not only of how to manage the town’s growth, but how to bring civility back to community conversations. Teresa represents the leadership qualities to do both. Think positive, vote Teresa!
Kathy Merchant
Lafayette/Orinda

Paid for by Gerringer for Lafayette Council 2018, P.O. Box 1672, Lafayette, CA 94549, FPPC#1409868
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