Kindergarten basics forgotten at city hall

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

It’s been brewing for days, weeks, months–maybe even years, and last Friday the frustration, the disappointment and the anger came to a head at the called Williston City Council meeting.

Tuesday night, things weren’t much better, even after Council President Marc Nussel called for a return to civility and politeness, while Councilor Brooks Holloway asked for respect–from the council and public alike.

There is still too much heckling from the audience–too  many aside comments from the council members. In fact, things are out of hand and despite the president’s statement that meetings would be handled differently, it has been almost chaos at the last two council meetings.

It’s no secret that there’s bad blood among many of the involved parties. They have made their distain for each other open, which violates one of kindergarten’s basic tenets: praise in public; chastise in private.

No one expects these council members to agree on everything–in fact, we’d be disappointed if they did–but the open hostility, the condescension and obvious rancor from council and staff is unprofessional and is not what we expect from the people who lead our city.

Likewise, the people who attend these meetings need to heed Holloway’s plea for respect. You can disagree without  being acrimonious and you can ask for change without rancor. 

Lessons taught in kindergarten, like please, thank you, I’m sorry, or listening without interrupting, have been forgotten. 

 It’s time the Williston City Council and the residents who attend meetings remember the things learned in elementary school. Enough is enough and there can be no progress as long as we continue this schoolyard bullying.