In just two days, I will reach the end of an eclectic nine-month journey. Several times, I’ve been asked whether I think it’s been worth it. Would I do it again if I could roll back the clock to last February? The journey has certainly been fraught with twists and turns…many of which deepened my respect for individuals who campaign for public office. But, I’ve accumulated so many pleasant memories, my answer is a resounding “Yes!” – regardless of the outcome November 4.
Let me share a few of the experiences from this campaign I will look back on thankfully…
- Opportunities to make wonderful new friendships that will last beyond this election. And, the excuse to renew a number of cherished, but neglected, old friendships as well.
- Answering probing questions from concerned citizens. Even when it was the seventh time I’d answered the same question, for this voter the question was new and the answer was important. I came to appreciate the depth of knowledge possessed by so many of our citizens.
- Speaking with brevity (not my forte!) This was a skill I hope I improved during candidate forums. Summarizing in one minute what took me several decades to accomplish doesn’t come naturally. Answering “yes” or “no” without explaining “why” still makes me a little uncomfortable.
- Learning to use and appreciate “social media.” While these efficient technologies are commonplace to my grandsons, I’m still more comfortable visiting Facebook postings of others than I am posting my own news. I’ll probably always like the idea of an old-fashioned “Thank You” note.
- Seeing a side of city staff I did not fully appreciate when I was Scottsdale City Treasurer. Most of our city employees are passionate about their work, proud of their achievements and deeply concerned for the needs of our citizens.
- Visiting all corners of our city. The campaign took me to meetings I might not have attended otherwise and exposed me to the concerns of citizens who might not have shared their thoughts otherwise. In the span of hours I might travel from desert gateways to science centers like SkySong; from the arts district to exhibitions at WestWorld. Seeing the diversity of our city in compressed periods of time gives meaning to our vision of creating a city where everyone can live, work, play and create.
All these campaign experiences have deepened my appreciation for our quality of life. In one of my earliest newsletters, I talked about the enviable diversity of identifiers that comprise our “Place.” Cowboy hats and baseball caps; golf shoes and hiking boots; bike paths and trolley routes; hot air balloons and corporate jets; a Sonoran desert experience alongside destination resorts; horses and horsepower in the same venue…the list is varied, interesting and unmatched anywhere else in America! This diversity is the “Place” we must protect and build upon.
I sincerely am deeply grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received from my fellow citizens. If you have not yet voted, I would appreciate one of your three Council votes. Thank you!