Keep it civil

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It is always an amazing aspect of human nature that people seem to feel that their opinions gain weight when expressed loudly or when accompanied by insults toward those with a differing point of view.

Few of us can claim to be totally immune from an occasional loss of temper but most manage to keep within certain accepted boundaries of behavior in public places.

One citizen went well beyond the boundaries of civility on Tuesday at a meeting of the Cherokee City Council, expressing opinions that included inappropriately disparaging remarks toward the council, one council member in particular.

It is part of the democratic process for citizens to express opposition whenever they disagree with the actions of elected officials, but a citizen undermines his or her own credibility when the expression of opposition becomes an uncontrolled rant.

City council members make difficult decisions for only token pay (no pay at all in the towns of the county other than Cherokee). They are not entitled to our automatic agreement with everything they say but they do deserve our respect.

It is likely there will be a discussion at the next Cherokee City Council meeting on limiting audience input during discussion of agenda items. We can understand why such an unfortunate measure is being considered.