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Cognitive Dissonance in Summit County Government Over Mountain Accord

Yesterday on KPCW, Lynn Ware Peak interviewed Summit County Manager Tom Fisher. She asked a question about Mountain Accord:

Lynn Ware Peak (KPCW): “Do you think citizens want to stay with the Mountain Accord?”

Tom Fisher (Summit County Manager): “You know I think there is certainly a lot of conversation about that, and the [Summit County] Council is leaning toward that. We’ll have further discussion about that as the next couple of months move on. In my personal view, its very important if someone is planning for our area, we need to be at the table, participating in that planning, so we represent ourselves.”

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. I think this describes the Summit County Council and County Manager to a tee. They know what the people want, yet they can’t even say it.

What I would have liked Mr Fisher to say is “I know that most citizens who have followed the Mountain Accord in Summit County are against it. Yet, they may not understand the implications of bowing out of the Accord. This could impact our roads, our access to other state services, and how members of the legislature may punish Summit County for leaving the Mountain Accord process. Therefore, while we don’t like the Mountain Accord any more than you do, we must stay in it for the common good.”

Instead we get platitudes like “keeping a seat at the table.”

Please just treat us as grown ups and tell us the truth. We can handle it.


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