Some may have found their way here via a search which was sparked by a not so friendly “letter to the editor” in a newspaper which circulates through Bellevue, Avalon, and the rest of the North Boroughs. Over the past few days I’ve wrestled with the idea of responding. The arguments going on within my head are two fold: 1) The statements made about me in this particular letter were so ridiculous in nature, responding to them seems like a serious waste of my valuable time. 2) On the other hand, not responding to them may communicate to the few who actually read this particular paper that my assailant has effectively pinned me in a corner from which there’s no arguments to defend myself.
After some time of reflection, I’ve decided to simply offer the following in response:
When my wife and I moved back to Bellevue in 2008, what we discovered was nothing short of heartbreaking. My home town, the community I loved, was in a desperate state of disrepair. As a person who refuses to sit idly by and allow problems to go unresolved, I began to ask questions and seek an honest, objective reason for the vacant storefronts, increased drug related crime, skyrocketing taxes, and run down homes. What I discovered was, at best, ineffective community leadership and, at worst, politician corruption that couldn’t care less for the community falling apart around it. For this reason, I acted. I, and some like minded friends, started an organization called Liberty in Bellevue.
Liberty in Bellevue is officially a political watchdog organization geared towards holding all of Bellevue’s leaders accountable and involving Bellevue residents, business owners, and other community members in the local political process. We are tired of the “behind closed door” operations that have lead Bellevue to its current state. We want leadership in our community that is passionate for freedom, community health, and prosperity. We will do everything in our power to create in Bellevue a community that is attractive to future home buyers, entrepreneurs and investors. However, none this is possible until we have an honest, hardworking, and fair leadership in place.
There was a time when having enemies was a great fear of mine. Like a child, I dreamed of a life and career where everyone liked me for who I was and what I felt called to do. Over the years, and especially recently, I’ve come to learn, however, that the effectiveness of one’s work and leadership can often be measured by the type of people who stand against it.
Today, I cherish the harsh words and criticism of others. It communicates to me much more than it ever did in the past. I know when criticism is warranted and constructive. However, I also know when criticism is nothing more than an affirmation that my work is being noticed and making a difference. I do not go out of my way to make enemies and seek criticism, but know by the strength and peace that comes from above that either form of criticism can be constructive. All worthwhile efforts will always be met by resistance. For that reason, I celebrate letters like the one published in last week’s paper.