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State Rep. Sharon Tyler: Respectfully agree to disagree

Published 10:50pm Monday, January 17, 2011

As the 96th legislature took the ceremonial oath of office last week, I started thinking over what it means to be bipartisan. House Speaker Jase Bolger wisely said during his address that being bipartisan doesn’t mean that we will always agree on the issues, but that despite our philosophical differences, we will always treat each other with respect and professionalism.

I strongly believe in this sentiment. Whether you are a small office manager discussing sales goals with your co-workers, or are the governor, respectful debate is a powerful force for success.

In my role as your state representative, it is especially important that I work with my colleagues and listen to my residents on these same terms. We may not be members of the same party, but we are all here together in the same place and time and share the common goal of helping our state succeed.

It is important to listen closely to each person and talk with them honestly. Different viewpoints in an open debate can often spark new ideas which neither side would have come to on their own.

I plan to continue running my office this way and welcome all residents to discuss their issues with me.

We may not always settle on the issue, but we can always learn from each other.

As Speaker Bolger said, “‘Bipartisan’ does not mean we will always agree. We each bring a unique perspective to every action, whether we are coming from across the aisle or across the state. ‘Bipartisan’ does mean we will each treat ideas, perspectives and individuals with respect and proper consideration.”

I look forward to hearing your comments on these important issues. Please feel free to contact me by calling (888) 373-0078 or e-mailing sharontyler@house. mi.gov.

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