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Ennis Daily News

Manners missing at Palmer meeting

In the past year the residents of Palmer have turned up to their City Council meetings for some major issues.
It’s good to see such an interest shown in the town’s city government, but that positive feeling fades a bit when the citizens resort to name-calling and childish behavior during the Council’s meetings.
During last week’s meeting the mayor had to remind the public not to call one another names and even threatened to have those who can’t respect each other escorted out of the building. It was a justified response to unflattering – and unproductive – behavior by some of those in attendance. The scene at the meeting sometimes better mirrored the actions of a kindergarten classroom. It makes one forget the importance of the meeting and undermines the political process when the mayor has to remind everyone that they are adults and need to act that way.
If citizens expect their council members to represent them as best they can then they need to not disrupt the proceedings with childish antics and petty attitudes. It is no wonder elected officials spend a lot of time in executive session, when the option of returning to the public forum means serving as a referees for bickering groups who call one another names. That doesn’t do anything to encourage open government.
We aren’t suggesting every meeting of the Palmer City Council turns into a shouting match between citizens with some people being barred from the town hall, but when the mayor’s first response to an uncontrolled outburst is “I will have you taken out of here,” it reflects poorly on how well some citizens have behaved in the past.
We are blessed to live in a nation where self government and free speech are sometimes taken for granted. Those rights also carry responsibilities. Conducting ourselves in a mature, civilized and respectful manner during public meetings is the least we could do.

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Posted by on Feb 25 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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