On the road of development of any nature, we face obstacles and challenges that arise and throw fear of failure into the pathway. Determination to succeed, willingness to face those obstacles, and the ability to reroute to get to your goal is vital to any type of development.
I recently spoke to a retired local developer who reminded me of a philosophy to revert to when the obstacles of development seem impossible. We call it the “Larry Cort Philosophy.”
Cort was the city administrator for Oak Harbor and prior to that was the town planner in Coupeville. He was one of most fascinating figures that I had ever been fortunate enough to know and work with when I faced development challenges. If you knew him, you would instantly agree. If you didn’t know him, then you missed out on the perfect example of a role model to strive to be in any government position.
I only knew Larry in a professional level. The stories that I heard of him outside of his career validated every positive attribute that he brought to serving his community daily.
Cort’s selflessness and commitment to helping the community grow was just the tip of the iceberg. Below that was this ability to find valid ways to achieve the impossible, guide developers through any process, and show alternative routes from A to Z when there were roadblocks at LMNOP. He never left the challenge without success. His passion and his compassion to make our community grow made it so much easier to approach him.
In a world where most people would discredit another for offering guidance, Cort would praise his fellow staff members. This made facing any obstacle a new-found opportunity. I knew that some answers or pathways that I must take would be difficult, but I knew that I had someone working to help the private sector bring to life the growth we all want and in the best way for the community.
Although Cort is not a part of our lives anymore, his philosophy of life and community should be a reminder and be a goal that we should all strive for. In the hustle of life to always run at top speed or to be in fear of unknowns, we all should pause for silence to remind ourselves of the Larry Cort philosophy is still inside of us.