ATLANTIC – As Sarah Schorle was ending her term as the student liaison to the Atlantic City Council, she used her final report last week to give council members observations of what she has learned from her time there, and one big theme was the need to communicate. Her first point was the importance of learning what others have to say on different subjects.
“The first observation is that we need to listen,” Schorle said. “Not just to hear somebody out or wait to refute their points, but listen to understand. Listen to empathize. Listen to your fellow council, listen to the people of Atlantic, and yes, even listen to the people you don’t want to listen to. At times, it is easy to become so focused on what we as an individual have to contribute on our beliefs on a matter that we don’t actually have a discussion. There is no compromise without hearing out the other side, and there’s no peace without silence.”
Her second point was the importance of getting information out to the public so they can be informed on issues involving the city.
“The second observation I have made is that people will criticize regardless of their knowledge on the subject, which makes me wonder, ‘Why don’t people know?’” she said. “Obviously we can not entirely eliminate this, but there are things that can be done to increase communication. And this falls back on listening as well. Communicate with everybody in your ward, and for those of you at large, communicate with as many as you can. It is easy to become comfortable in this position, but I believe we should never stop earning our spot. Host an event for your ward or go door to door or whatever you have to do. It’s a shame that so many people in this town don’t know who represents them on this council. And it’s easy to point blame, but it’s even easier to ring a door bell and say hello. Encourage them to attend a meeting or a committee meeting. Let them know what you stand for, and what you envision for the future of Atlantic.”
She decided to bring up these observations because she wants to have a great city, in which people are interested in working, living and helping grow for the future.
“The reason I bring up these observations is not to criticize or cause conflict,” she said. “I bring these up because we have a town worth fighting for. There are people in this community that our depending on us to make Atlantic a place worth staying. And it is our job to uphold and defend that honor to the best of our ability. And at the end of the day, it is not about us as individuals sitting in comfy chairs behind a name plaque. It’s about working together to create a better Atlantic. An Atlantic that makes other people think, ‘Hey, I want to live there.’”