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Senators Novelle Francis Jr. and Kenneth Gittens listen during a session of the V.I. Legislature. Francis replaced Gittens as Senate president in a surprise reorganization of the body last week.

Our new Senate team got off to a bit of a rocky start.

A shuffle in appointments occurred recently. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and the public appreciates that there are bumps and bruises in politics as our newly elected teams find their footing.

One thing we don’t want to see is problems carried forward. Those old-time grudges we sometimes find festering in politics need to be put aside.

The Virgin Islands community elected a variety of people for all of their strengths and abilities, and we want it all put to good use.

Each member of your team has good to offer, and the people need it all. Disagreements we understand, as well as competing ideas. Sharing ideas with respect is what is owed to the people, and we are confident you will quickly get your bearings.

We need you to listen to each other with open minds, with no one put in a corner.

All of our lawmakers working together, as a well-oiled machine, is the goal.

We ask that you grab onto each other’s talents, intelligence and experience and bring the best of yourselves to the community table.

Sometimes in life, we all are guilty of hearing without listening.

— Maria Ferreras is a longtime St. Thomas resident and community volunteer.