As a basketball official for 10 years, Charlottes mayor for 14 years, and now governor of North Carolina for one year, my family and I have had our share of being booed, yelled at, cussed and sadly even physically threatened. Its the job that I signed up for and I couldnt be more proud to serve the great state of North Carolina.
Let me briefly set the record straight about the much-written about and discussed incident that occurred at one of my favorite Charlotte-area establishments. This past Sunday afternoon while I was with members of my family for lunch, an employee said hello with one finger instead of five. I responded with a simple thank you. He then said, Thanks for nothing.
When these types of encounters typically occur, my response as a mayor and now as governor is typically a thank you for the feedback and a smile. As a 14-year mayor, I proudly never used the gavel to bring order to a meeting, but rather calmly asked for respectful dialogue.
In an era when even the president of the United States was insulted during the State of Union address, we shouldnt be rewarding those who behave inappropriately by giving them fame.
Perhaps more stories from the Observer should be about the vast majority of employees from the public and private sectors who every day care for and treat people with respect, customer service and dignity. We all witnessed hundreds of people helping others through random acts of kindness during the recent snowstorms. These are the people that deserve recognition by the Observer and I say thanks to all of them.
I remain focused on finding answers to the important issues facing our state: bringing more jobs to all 100 counties, raising teacher salaries and improving education outcomes, protecting the environment and increasing efficiency in state government. I also recognize that there are times when some people may disagree with our solutions. We welcome that feedback.
But I would argue that one can be passionate about an issue and still maintain civility in the debate. North Carolinians deserve better.
Pat McCrory is governor of North Carolina.
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