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Letter: Lamorinda Weekly Beth Ferree

As a retired psychologist and 33-year resident of Lafayette, I am grateful to the people who have volunteered their time and energy serving on our city councils and commissions over the years. I attended the Lafayette Homeowners Association town meeting on Thursday, September 20, eager to hear from the 5 candidates running for 2 open positions for Lafayette City Council. I expected that differences of opinion would be shared with respect and a belief that all candidates want what is best for Lafayette, no matter how they disagree on specific issues. Unfortunately, that is not how the evening unfolded.
After Thursday’s forum, I recognize that Lafayette needs to choose between two distinct approaches to problem solving. On one hand, we have three candidates (Maggio, Gerringer and Smith) who advocate for collaboration and increased participation by community members. They challenge our community to embrace the hurdles we face over the next decade with cooperation and inclusivity, making our concerns known by attending city council, town commission and school board meetings. I felt assured that they will listen and work with us. On the other hand, we have two candidates (Sampson and Candell) who do not appear to put much value in collaboration and respect. Over and above the content that they proposed, I was disturbed by their disdainful tone. They were confrontational and dismissive of other points of view.
We need City Councilors who listen to experts and citizens alike as opposed to Councilors who consider themselves as the only experts whose opinions matter. As psychologist John Gottman’s research demonstrates, disdain is the biggest block to a healthy relationship. Let’s elect leaders who will lead by collaboration not litigation, and let’s all put in the time and energy it takes to help them do their jobs.
Beth Ferree, Ph.D.
Lafayette

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