Pounds: Enright and wrongWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
Dear Shaun Enright,
Welcome to the wonderful world of Toledo politics! To help you through the next year, here are some helpful tips.
1. If you don’t have a thick skin, grow one quickly. Toledoans have complaining down to an art form and you will hear more complaints than compliments.
2. Be prepared to hear about constituent issues at the grocery store, your kids’ school and sports functions, basically everywhere. (See No. 1).
3. It could be suggested attendance matters, although a lack of attendance didn’t hurt Phil Copeland. You might want to at least show up for committee meetings and Council meetings until after you are elected.
5. Former Toledo City Council President Wilma Brown often compared some of the behavior of Council members to that of children in the sandbox, so your parenting skills could come in handy.
6. Perception is everything; most voters will probably never meet you but how the media portrays you is how you will be defined. (See No. 4).
7. While most Council votes are unanimous, you will be forced to make hard decisions and take sides.
Remember, you represent all of Toledo, not just whatever small vocal minority is pushing an issue.
8. Listen to criticism, but don’t let the anonymous bashing that takes place on the Internet bother you. If they don’t care enough to use their real names their credibility is already questionable and chances are those 10 people on a website are really just a few people with multiple screen names.
9. You won’t please everyone. People will get upset with you. It’s better to make a hard decision and face the consequences than to run to the bathroom to avoid a vote.
10. Be careful whom you trust; even some of your fellow Council members will sometimes work against you, and not always in the open.
11. Decide early on if you want to be a politician or a public servant — there is a difference.
You have from now until December to serve as a member of
Toledo City Council — longer if you are elected in November. Hopefully these tips will be of use, and remember, the city is watching.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.