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Book: Elected officials need to practice civility

Voters will have many candidates to consider in municipal, county, and state races this Fall. Just in Gainesville, four City Commission seats out of seven are on the ballot, an unprecedented number.

I believe civility should be a key focus in every election, along with the ability of those elected to be respectful and courteous to all. Practical and ethical candidates will be the ones who attempt to understand the priorities of those who live, work, and play here, as opposed to pursuing their own personal interests.

Civility also means that it is OK to agree to disagree while attempting to find common ground leading to common goals. The key to civility is to actively listen and engage with others and to explain to the public any obstacles to achieving that common ground. And while there is always criticism of elected officials and decisions, in most cases it is NOT personal even if it “sounds” that way.

I have lived in Gainesville for 40 years and continue to serve our community with integrity and professionalism. To serve Gainesville well, newly-elected City officials will need to practice civility despite having to make difficult decisions during difficult times, while not always agreeing on the best way to succeed.

Elections are still months away. Voters will have many choices to make about those who will be able to work collaboratively toward improving the City for all of us. I know I can do this, and hope you consider me the candidate worthy of your vote.

Ed Book, Gainesville City Commission Candidate
Gainesville

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