Simple conversation matters if you take time SanTan Sun News

Simple conversation matters if you take time

August 19th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Simple conversation matters if you take time
Opinion
0

By TERRY ROE

I think folks have forgotten what discourse or simple conversation really means and why it matters. Let me give you one example.

Once or twice a month I get the chance to have breakfast with my friend and former Chandler Mayor Jerry Brooks. It begins with a pitcher of iced tea, two orders of sausage and eggs, no toast and a friendly waitress that knows Jerry, and greets him by name when we sit down to order.

Over the better part of an hour, we spend time talking about Chandler and giving our own thoughts on what is right or wrong for our community. With the sounds of a busy kitchen in the background, I share the latest news on what’s happening and to anyone listening it quickly becomes obvious that we both really love this city.

The conversation goes both ways and I enjoy hearing how the 101 freeway was developed in Chandler and how it aligned with the Chandler Fashion Center that opened its doors in Fall 2001.

Jerry passionately talks about Chandler’s achievements including how past mayors and councils with other community leaders laid the groundwork for one of Chandler’s greatest success stories, the Price corridor.

He is a proud veteran who regularly reminds me that the memorial at Veteran’s Oasis Park has yet to be finished. I know he’s right, and I promise I’ll bring it up to our city manager Marsha Reed during our next meeting at City Hall. It is unfinished business for Chandler, and it should be completed.

While serving as mayor, Jerry was a key player in orchestrating a partnership with the Chandler Unified School District to build Chandler’s Center for the Performing Arts.

It is a product of community collaboration and it has been a source of great pride since it opened its doors in 1989. Jerry rarely misses the opportunity to tell me the arts have a place in Chandler and I agree.

Eventually the end of our morning breakfast meeting has arrived. We have pretty much covered everything. Who will be our next senators. What’s happening with education; streets, water, police and fire and even solid waste.

We fight over the check and then the former mayor and I say our goodbyes. He reminds me that he’ll be talking to other councilmembers and Mayor Jay Tibshraeny to advance whatever project he felt should be moving forward.

So you see, folks, discourse or simple conversation is not really that difficult. Listening to what others think on any subject can be educational and entertaining.

Honest and open discussion gives you the opportunity to learn and, yes, to share your own thoughts. My advice is to be willing to put your phone down, look a person in the eye; be courteous and share ideas. It really can work.

Of course, I prefer to do it over breakfast and in person with an old friend.

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