L to R: Sheriff’s Deputy, Mayor, me, Police Chief, City Manager, Sheriff.

As you read earlier this week, I’ve left my local newspaper column. That decision was the right one and it remains. There comes a time to move on and this is the time for other writing subjects and projects. But I owe it to you, my readers, to tell you that some of the recent issues that led that decision have been resolved.

We live in an online world — social media, news, entertainment, virtual friends, remote offices, etc — and in a polarized political environment. This means we have also become used to dealing with tough issues from a distance, and from within our own silos, and believe you me I am as guilty of this as anyone. Today’s meeting served as a lesson, and I share it with you here:  This is not going to get any easier on its own. We have to start talking to each other face-to-face again, especially when those conversations are hard.

Thanks to Mayor Young for setting up our meeting today with city leadership and law enforcement. Last week I was afraid to drive through town, and next week you’ll probably see me having coffee at McDonald’s with local law enforcement, getting to know each other better. Issues resolved.

Good things happen when you get everybody in a room and have a long conversation, and this was a great one.