An Open Letter to Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell

BY IN Our World Comments Off on An Open Letter to Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell

Please let me start by saying that this IS NOT a political post. This is about respectful communication, behavior, engagement and inclusion.

As a mediator I try to stay away from anything political, divisive or exclusive. Not to say I don’t have my personal opinions however I don’t think it is in the best interest of my business to be publicly sharing those views. I own a home in Whitby, I have a business and office in Whitby, I vote in Whitby.

I sit here today still shocked at the language from Mayor Don Mitchell at last night’s council meeting. I became aware of his comments last night; yes through social media, however was unsure if I should comment. Today is a new day, I have listened to his actual tone and words and I feel very strongly that I should in fact comment.

Now I don’t go to council meetings, I have a basic understanding of our local politics and the issues and I do know who all of the players are. Some of that just comes with having a business here and in previous years being very involved in local networking groups.

The new Town of Whitby logo was the first time that I have commented on anything that relates to politics. I did so not to be political but to share my view of the proposed new logo. I honestly thought that the logo was a deflated basketball. As a business person I know the value and strength of a logo. I know you shouldn’t need an explanation to share it’s meaning.

Thanks to social media I am now more aware of issues like this and I appreciate the opportunity to get informed. To hear that my voice is not valued as it was on social media and therefore should be mistrusted or that I am lumped in with complainers is inappropriate. The post I commented on was from Steve Lee with the question “What do you think?”. This was a convenient way for me to get involved in the conversation, to have a say, to find out what the issue was. For Mayor Mitchell to say that I contributed to a dark environment that is unpleasant, unfair and unreasonable is simply untrue!

Disagreements and conflict are a way of life, so is social media. To dismiss any opinions that come from a source you don’t believe in is narrow minded and exclusive. To use the language that you used is inappropriate. Respectful communication should be fundamental for a person in a position of leadership, you did not show leadership last night.

I expect better. I expect a voice. I expect to be valued. I expect to vote again. I expect an apology.

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