PAQUETTE: Let us take the time to chat

Published 9:01 am Friday, December 20, 2019

Brad Paquette, R, represents the 78th District, which covers Berrien county. 

I must begin by describing how thankful I am to serve you in the 78th District for a time.  Being your representative is the greatest honor of my life. After attending a few township and city commission meetings last week, I encountered a local leader who was upset about the budget process and the challenges of bipartisanship. It reminded me of the importance of communicating with local leaders who stand up to serve on municipal boards and how I want each one of my constituents to feel welcome to have a tough conversation with me or to let me know where they stand on an issue.  I will always treat you with respect and kindness, even if we disagree. I also want to thank all of my local officials, as they sacrifice their time to better their community. I understand that it takes a lot of time and effort to be involved in local government and, most times, comments made to those leaders are about what needs to be done. However, I challenge you to recharge and show love and appreciation to those that willingly work to better the lives of others.

Each Sunday, I am able to recharge and be reminded to show love to others as I lead a Sunday School class at my church. The fellowship is always invigorating as it allows me to be back in the classroom environment, which I certainly miss from my years teaching.  This last particular class, we discussed wisdom. Although all of us had slightly differing definitions of wisdom, we agreed that it connects to experience, understanding and knowledge of what matters most in life. In my first term in the State House, I have come to recognize the importance of experience, understanding the legislative process and knowledge of how to love the people I serve. To be the most effective in my job serving the 78th District, I seek to build more wisdom in all such ways.

I must state that I also look to history in seeking wisdom.  I have been listening to various biographies on my drives to the Capitol.  Bobby Kennedy, for instance, is one who took many years to find out that his confidence came from learning how to love and care for those he wished to serve.  He monumentally changed many paradigms in public service. He became a beacon within his time as he was politician with pure intentions.

I also hope to do the same in the office I am thankful to hold for a time.  When I see individuals in the community who read this column — as I did today in the Niles’ Martin’s — I am overwhelmingly appreciative for your thoughts, prayers and encouragement to be better.  I will try to continue acquiring the wisdom to best serve you. If you have a biography you think I should listen to on my drives to the Capitol, please feel free to share those with me!