Letter to the Editor: Disagreement Makes for Better Candidates and Elected Officials

At state Sen. Shelley Mayer’s recent annual Labor Breakfast, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that having worked with Sen. Mayer for decades, he had deep respect for her intelligence, judgment and work ethic. So much so, he said, that when they disagreed on an issue, it caused him to reassess his own position.

On a broader level, I believe the county executive was expressing something fundamental yet often overlooked: disagreement is a gift.

In my decision-making, I like to think that I carefully consider every significant alternative and make the optimal choice, while at the same time avoiding unintended consequences.

That approach only gets a person so far. I am, of course, biased when it comes to my own decision-making. I would like to think I am often right, but realistically I know that I am not. That is why disagreement is so valuable.

Dissenting views cause me to re-evaluate my own views. If opposing opinions reveal flaws in my thinking, I modify my position accordingly. Sometimes I find that I have missed the boat entirely. But through this process of encountering and evaluating disagreements, I make better decisions.

Disagreement, then, is an essential tool in my decision-making toolkit.

Should I become Harrison’s next mayor, please do not be surprised if from time to time I greet you in a way you may not expect: “Thank you for disagreeing with me.”

Frank Gordon
Candidate for Mayor
Moving Harrison Forward
Harrison

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