This editorial was published in the Bloomington Pantagraph.
The winners of this spring’s election will soon be sworn in, and we have a recommendation.
Listen to fellow board members.
And most significantly, listen to constituents, even those you disagree with. Maybe even more to the ones you disagree with.
We cannot accentuate enough how imperative this is — at this time and in this place.
We need elected officials to bridge our divisions, which have clearly enlarged as a byproduct of political fallout on state and national levels. It hasn’t helped that we’ve had a truly fatiguing several months of elections, from the November general election to the February primary to the April one. In other words, we’ve all waded through a whole lot of rhetoric.
So to the newly elected, we need you more than ever to work together as councils members and mayors. Just because your opinions differ do not mean you cannot govern.
And in fact, governing is actually the point of this enterprise. While winning an election is thrilling and fulfilling, the genuine work is infinitely more complex and unglamorous. Your motivations and decisions will be questioned, sometimes unfairly. And there is obviously no way to make everyone happy.
Yet you will be doing essential work, made even more critical in these incredible times. How we come out of COVID — how the economy rebounds, how we protect those most vulnerable, how we restore our normality — will depend on how you work together and make sound, reasoned, researched judgments.
We will not pretend to know all of those answers. But we do know that listening to options and finding common ground will be important.
Thank you for running and representing us. Now the test starts.
We need you.