Several people have expressed to me that they are disappointed in the way the last council meeting went. In the interest of transparency (and because I know what I’ve said elsewhere will be posted to the internet anyway), I am sharing my response here:
I am also disappointed in the outcome of the last meeting. I am sure you are familiar with the saying “If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk.” I try to do that.
So yes: what happened at that meeting should not happen again. The question, for me, then is “What do we do to ensure that?”
My talk: I teach college, career, and life skills at Tri-County Technical College. Part of what I teach is that one of the keys to success is accepting personal responsibility. I tell students that when we are confronted with an undesirable outcome, we have two choices about how to approach the situation. We can adopt what we call a Victim mindset, or we can adopt a Creator mindset. When we approach a situation with the Victim mindset, we fall into a habit of complaining, blaming, excusing, and repeating behavior. The result is we seldom achieve our goals. If we approach a situation with the Creator mindset, we strive to accept responsibility, seek solutions, take action, and try new things. The result is we often achieve our goals.
My walk: In this situation, I am approaching what occurred with a Creator mindset. My goal is to have meetings that ensure consistent and fair treatment of citizens, staff, and fellow councilmembers; are orderly and efficient; and comply with state and federal law. My action plan is to continue to work on establishing a set of procedural rules and decorum guidelines. We have already started our work on that. At the next workshop meeting, I hope we’ll be able to share more of our ideas on the draft of that document, so we can move forward with it. I believe that this will help us to avoid the problems from the last council meeting in the future. I think it’s important that as a council we work on those together to create something that will work for us.
We all—all 7 of us—bear the responsibility for ensuring we have meetings conducive to achieving our goals for the city. If that doesn’t happen, then each of us is responsible for that failure. As Jeff Shacker of the MASC said to us during our Session A training, “municipal government is a team sport.” Effective teams are not created over night. They take time and work. I look forward to that work as we continue to strive to be the kind of team Simpsonville can be proud of.
I hope that our community will support us on this journey. After all, we’re all in this together: One Simpsonville.