Friday, July 26, 2013

Change Is Good

(L-R) Rotarian Sean Teaford and City Controller Candidate Terry Tracy at the Union League during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia (Photo by Assistant District Governor Richard Trivane)

On Thursday, for the second day in a row I was off to a Rotary meeting. The reason for my Rotary double down was to hear the guest speaker presenting at the Rotary Club of Philadelphia. Not only was I interested in what he had to say I was also the one who introduced him to the opportunity earlier in the year.

In Rotary, as many of you know, we do our best to remain neutral when it comes to politics. This is a rule that I respect and abide by no matter what my views are on a particular subject. However, I fully support the discussion of ideas and the sharing of opinions as to the best solutions for problems that we face both in our club and in the community. It is for this reason that I set up the date for Terry Tracy to open up a dialogue with my fellow Rotarians over lunch at The Union League of Philadelphia.

I met Terry a number of months back at a Commonwealth Club event in center city and was immediately impressed with his reasonable views and how his background would offer a unique perspective to the position of Controller in the City of Brotherly Love. As Rotarians we all bring different abilities and talents to the table to serve each other and the community and I believe that we should look for those same traits in those running for office. His experience running retail stores throughout North America for major multinational fashion brands grants him with exceptional ability to view the city through a lens of global appeal and appreciation for the creative management necessary to spur growth in tough times.
I can hear some of you commenting now about neutrality and party politics. Rest assured, Terry abided by the 4 Way Test throughout his discussion.

It is the truth? He stuck to the facts and was completely honest in his background and opinions.  
Is it fair to all concerned? He did not venture into conjecture and made no mention of party politics.
Will it build good will and better friendships? In a time when partisan politics is running rampant, the meeting ended with complements from Rotarians across the political spectrum.  
Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Regardless of location, the race for controller is often overlooked. This brought focus to a position that has a great impact on the health of the city but regularly receives little attention. All benefited from the awareness of this important position.

Just because someone is in politics and/or is a member of one party or another, it doesn’t mean that neutrality can’t be achieved. Ones personal views will always color your perspective but it shouldn’t prevent us from seeing both sides of a political race or a discussion in general. In fact, you could be surprise by what you see. Who knows, maybe your opinion will change. Maybe change is something we need.