Be Part of the Solution

be-part-of-the-solutionIn response to the commentary found on an Editorial published today on the I share these thoughts.  The Internet is powerful.  I believe we must use it for good.  In our country, we can speak freely. Yet, it seems more people choose to speak freely negatively than to create positive change.  This message is my small effort to keep fighting the good fight.

Ron Alexander, thank you for your commitment to our community.  I don’t know who you are (you seem to hide your true identity, probably because you have very good reason), but I know that you are very passionate about what happens in our community.

You and I have something in common.  I too am a passionate person.  The difference between us is that I use my passion to try to make a positive difference in our community; therefore, I am willing to listen to people like Tom Phillips.  Tom is not a native to Polk County – and I know that it’s not easy to be an outsider in this community, but that hasn’t stopped him.  He came to Polk County less than 5 years ago, with one purpose: to improve the mass transit system in Polk County and if you spent some time researching all that he has done, you’d discover that he has done some amazing work since he arrived.  We are fortunate to have him in our community.

Imagine being Tom. A smart guy with a lot of passion, energy and desire to make things around him better.  To apply the knowledge and experiences that he has had, he came to Polk County because we needed someone to help change the status of our Mass Transit – maybe this isn’t something you or I need to take advantage of, but then again, not everything is about you and I.  It’s about the big picture.  It’s about the entire picture – not just the view of one or two.

After reading your comments, I believe that this isn’t about taxes for you. This is about revenge.  From the hundreds of comments I have read that you have written, it’s obvious that you feel like you’ve been given the shaft – you don’t look at things objectively, you don’t see both sides of an argument, you don’t weigh out the debate and consider anything other than how you can stick it to the man – to give yourself some personal satisfaction… you use your words to lash out at people who work to bring value to our community, and I think that’s the wrong approach…. I also think you are damaging the future of our community in many ways.

What you don’t realize is that your insightful comments may be doing more harm than good.  Today, social media is the public forum that used to exist offline.  Instead of attending a commission meeting, or town hall meeting, people can share their opinions in a safe environment, in the comfort of their own homes without consideration for those they are attacking.

I am sure you are aware of this, and it is probably your intent, but I want to explain the possible side effects of your incessant bashing of our “corrupt leaders” as you so frequently call them. Have you considered the future leaders of our great community?  What they think when they read these comments from a bitter, angry avatar?  You indicate you are an elderly gentleman… maybe you don’t care about the future of our community… and if that is the case, you are not only bitter and angry, you’re selfish.  Whatever you do, from wherever you are, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I encourage you to become part of the solution, because we need more people like Tom to continue to choose to be leaders in our community.

Tom didn’t need me to come to his aid… But I truly felt it was time I shared my thoughts, for whatever they are worth.

4 replies
  1. Jamie Beckett
    Jamie Beckett says:

    Chrissanne, you wrote a wonderful piece. Thank you so much for taking the time and the interest to engage on an important issue. Yes, My Roads/My Ride is an important initiative on the ballot, and I will gladly vote for it. But you engaged on an equally important issue – civility in the public square. We can disagree, but we do not have to attempt to belittle each other in the process. That’s counter-productive.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Tom Phillips, and I can attest to his dedication and drive. His creative manner and outstanding leadership skills have turned around a broken institution and brought real accountability to county-wide transit systems. I also worked with the team he leads when they were under different leadership. The same people were rudderless then, largely demoralized, and often working without a clear objective. The system was expensive, inefficient, and going nowhere fast. Tom changed all that. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t those who sat on the Polk Transit Board with me – although we all put serious effort into the tasks at hand. It was Tom Phillips’ drive and sense of professionalism that turned things around.

    Anyone who chooses not to recognize what has happened under Tom’s leadership, and how it has benefitted the people of Polk – both economically and in terms of quality of service – just isn’t paying attention. The evidence is there. All we have to do is review it to see what a great deal we’ve got right now, and what a remarkable team leader we’ve got working on our behalf.

    Well done, Chrissanne. Very well done.

  2. Eduardo
    Eduardo says:

    I have some insight on Ron A. He was a city of Lakeland employee. He was given the option of quitting or be fired. He is stuck with conspiracies and such with all government. He doesn’t need facts. He’s an Internet troll.


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