The first somewhat controversial action I took on the School Board was to decide not to sign the Code of Civility. I believe in civility, but the Code of Civility had some elements with which I disagree. For example, I don't agree that "achieving" consensus is important - instead, I think "building" consensus is of great importance for a community. When there is real disagreement, I think achieving a false consensus by papering over disagreement or using ambiguous words harms the community. Honest communication is essential.
And now, ironically, as we step out of an emotional and controversial budget process, I'd like to call for civility. I am not asking anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone has a right to feel what they feel. I'd only observe that what I value most about Falls Church is its sense of community, which has been tested. My request is we continue to look for common ground, even when we disagree, that we work to share our opinions in a way that invites dialogue, and most important, that we listen.