It’s the time for tough choices

By now, there isn’t a single person in this county who has not been either directly or indirectly affected by the economic crisis that is upon us. We are going to be facing some tough challenges in the next two years of the administration you will be electing this coming Tuesday.

Now, more than ever before, we need a mayor who is a true leader, a person who exhibits the essence of leadership. To me, leadership is having the ability to inspire, to bring people together, and to be a positive force in the community. There are some who believe these uncertain times require experience as the single most important quality, a rationale that would have us routinely reelecting a former mayor at a time when innovation and a fresh approach offer the best hope for our future.

The challenges before us are clearly defined. We must do something about our electric utility rates and our total reliance on outside sources for virtually all our fuel. We have a crisis regarding our landfill and our entire approach to handling waste. We must protect our open land, especially our invaluable agricultural land. Energy and food independence are the keys to our survival in the coming years. No one candidate can claim to own these issues, as they belong to all of us and are the realities we must face in the next two years.

I have been a part of local government for nearly 25 years and have served in a variety of capacities, growing dramatically in responsibility over time. I know what needs to be done and I know how to get it done. This idea of political experience being the most important quality for our next mayor because of the uncertain times ahead is not the basis upon which we should be making this most important decision.

The next mayor is going to have to bring together diverse interests from within the public and private sectors. The business owners of the county need to feel they have a mayor who understands their unique challenges and considers them part of the team.

The next mayor must have the support of the entire public sector in order for the county to move forward. It is not a time to be making amends for the past, rather, it is time to make some tough choices for the future with the community solidly behind you.

The next mayor must create a positive and constructive relationship with the County Council. This requires leadership skills and the ability to bring people together. The next mayor must be a team player who considers every single county employee a part of the team. The next mayor has to appoint a cabinet that understands and exhibits his leadership qualities, reflecting the basic principle behind good government, which is all about public service and addressing the needs of our community.

A true leader surrounds himself with qualified people who have the motivation and knowledge to effectively deal with the enormous variety of challenges that impact county government. A leader has the confidence in his team to entrust them with the responsibility to get the job done and hold them directly accountable if they don’t.

A leader must possess great humility and put the needs of the island and her people first.

The best leaders are the ones with the biggest hearts because there is no amount of experience or knowledge that can outshine the unparalleled quality of a good heart.

My name is Bernard Carvalho and I ask for your vote because I love this place we all call home and I am a leader with the heart for this job.

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