Time to restore civility to public discourse

This is probably a letter that I shouldn’t write. But having listened to recent Assembly meetings in person and on the radio, I just have a couple of “in my opinion” suggestions. Apparently just shouting them at the radio isn’t working.

1. When you are talking to elected officials or pretty much anyone else, and incorporate into your remarks, either directly or indirectly, that they are idiots, on the take, or in need of additional parts of their anatomy, do not expect them to listen extra hard to the ideas that you think are really important. Courtesy and respect for people, while not explicitly written out in Ordinance form, are a good idea, no matter what the setting. I believe this is also expected of the elected persons and there are times when they could set a better example as well.

2. To quote an Assemblyperson who spoke on the second day of the last meeting, “We (elected folks) are also taxpayers, parents, etc.” So starting with “I’m a taxpayer...” might not be the most distinguishing characteristic you have. Don’t lose track of your own mission.

Some of the recent remarks and behavior would not be tolerated at a high school assembly ... and we want our students to learn by example. Can we just disagree and work for what we believe in without devaluing each other and resorting to “childish” (forgive me, well behaved children) behavior? I’m just sayin’.

Most sincerely,

Susan Smalley

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