Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: All voices should be heard

It has been my honor to represent you and the varied interests of our community.

As mayor of Atascadero in 2009, I strived to be fair, honest and treat everyone with respect. Civility at City Council meetings was my goal. I have dealt productively and respectfully with all issues that came before the City Council. I am proud to have retained my personal integrity in an often-discourteous environment.

If I can leave you with a thought, it is this: Good decisions arise when all voices are heard and varied opinions are considered on factual merit. I encourage all of you, and especially my colleagues on the City Council, to model the behavior you want to see and to support leaders who do the same.

It is no great feat to listen respectfully to those who share your opinion. Respect is demonstrated in how you listen to those with different opinions than your own. Honor and integrity are demonstrated when you make difficult decisions, possibly unpopular with your friends, but in the lasting interests of the community.

As a mother of two, it is time for me to focus on my family. My husband and children have been so patient with my commitment to community service. Anna and Scott are now teenagers! All too soon they will be venturing off and I need to spend time with them now. I have plans to return to politics in the future, how soon is an open question.

I would like to thank Sorrel Marks, who has served all four years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, giving valuable input and encouraging respectful public participation whenever our incredible parks were concerned.

Dan O’Grady and Len Colamarino served on the Planning Commission. Thank you both for your numerous insights and thoughtfulness in your efforts to guide our city’s growth. I would also like to thank the city staff for their enthusiasm for new ideas. As mayor, I had the privilege to witness their dedication and desire to serve their city well.

Thank you, Atascadero, for being my family’s hometown.

Ellen Beraud is a former City Council member of Atascadero.