Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leadership for Now, AND the Next Generation

At yesterday's Lincoln Neighborhood Association forum, an audience member recited a quote that is really very telling for this race:

“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman thinks of the next generation.”

She used this quote to set the stage for a question about leadership. As it turns out, leadership has become a crucial aspect of this election. My opponent and I are both leaders in this community -- the question in this election isn't about who IS a leader. It's about what TYPE of leadership we as a community are looking for.

I've said before and I'll say again – I have a great deal of respect for Royce Pollard. He served his city well, and has helped us move forward.

But this is a different world and a different city than it was 20 years ago when he first took public office. What got us here isn't going to get us where we need to go.

When I'm asked the "leadership" question, my reply is:
I listen, I collaborate, and I communicate.

I don't have all the answers, and I would never presume to say that I did. I seek the opinions of many others in order to make informed decisions, and don't shoot from the hip.

As a public servant, entrusted to be a steward of your city, I take my role very seriously.

I'm an engineer by training, and at times may be a little dry and analytical. But that is a trait that has served me well in public service. Bringing diverse interests together, building on common ground, and moving forward in a positive direction toward a collective vision – that is how I strive to lead, and that is why I have dedicated my life to helping make our home a better place for every single one of us.

My opponent has a military background, and used a military analogy to frame his leadership style:

“I told my men, 'if you do what I tell you to do, without question, you'll get through this alive.'”

While that's exactly the right direction for a battlefield, it simply is not appropriate for public service. There is far too much at stake for our leadership to be tossing out orders and treating civic responsibility like an armed command.

I have incredible respect for my opponent’s military service – I am honored to know him, and thank him and every active and veteran soldier for their service to our country.

But Vancouver needs a leader who is prepared for the challenges of today and looking toward tomorrow, not one who is focused on waging a battle.

My opponent has repeatedly said that he only wants another four years. While he and I agree that the next four years are important to Vancouver, where we disagree is that I am also concerned about the next four years, and the four years after that. I intend to live here for a very long time – and am looking out for the future that my children, and my children's children, will inherit. Folks, to me…each and EVERY year is important for our community.

We can't just be focused on the next four years – our lives are on a continuum, and our leadership should be, too. Vancouver needs a Mayor who is prepared to lay the groundwork for the next 40 years, not just the next four.

We can do better!

Together, when you elect me Mayor, we WILL do better!


Ed Bisquera said...


I'm looking forward to what you'll bring to Vancouver for the next 40 years buddy!

I respect your efforts to run and you have my support and vote.

I'll do what I can, the little time and things I can offer, but I agree with you that we need a new direction of leadership and what you bring is a more even tempered approach and style.

Mayor Royce did an awesome job at bringing Vancouver (primarily Downtown) back, although some would argue back means being in debt) and he may have people that don't agree with his leadership style, he did help to bring about changes in America's Vancouver.

I know, though, that it's time for the batton to be handed to a different leader and that you are a candidate worthy of that.

Tim Leavitt is someone we can stand behind and support. I'll be in Seattle the night of the election, but I'll be watching via Twitter and Facebook to see you claim victory. Hopefully you or Temple or Kelly or someone also sends out a mobile text so we can be in the loop.

See you in the Mayor's seat Tim! :-)


Mikhail Oparin said...

Tim. I posted a comment about toll fees on mayor's blog, have yet to hear from him... I feel as if our current administration has their own agenda and does not listen to the citizens that put them in the office check this out: