Letters to the Editor

Byers is the best choice | Letter

You may have had the experience of speaking out in a discussion or public meeting and afterwards feeling that you didn’t quite say what you meant. Too many distractions, too little time, the issues are too complex, you hadn’t really thought it all through ... there are all sorts of reasons why you can’t quite clarify and articulate your own thoughts.

We have noticed how much rarer this experience is when we’re engaged in a discussion with Lisa Byers, who has been a good friend for the past several years. Others have remarked on Lisa’s clarity of thought and expression. We’d like to point out an extension of that – without being manipulative or presumptive, she helps others clarify and articulate their thoughts.

How does she do this? For one thing, Lisa really listens to what you’re saying, without prematurely jumping to conclusions or judgements. If she doesn’t understand, she asks questions that often help you not only better express yourself, but figure out what it was you were trying to say in the first place. Also, she is really good at keeping a discussion on point and reining in unproductive digression. She somehow is able to do this in a way that is direct yet tactful and respectful. She knows how to define areas of disagreement in ways that can open a path to compromise and consensus.

Following a discussion with Lisa you are likely to be better informed. You are likely to have a more focused grasp of the central issues. And you may well feel that you have stepped back a few paces from your own opinion to regard things from a more generous and open-minded perspective.

Having Lisa Byers serve on the council will be a good thing for San Juan County.

Phoebe and Nick Hershenow

Orcas Island

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