Editorial: Common courtesy is still in order

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 9, 2005

In pioneer days, being called a liar and a cheat was cause for defending your honor.

It’s really not any different today; and it shouldn’t be.

A self-proclaimed community watch dog crossed the line

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when he called Mayor pro tem Al Brooks a &uot;liar and a cheat&uot; during Monday night’s city council meeting. What ever happened to the &uot;Golden Rule?&uot; Can you imagine the uproar if the council resorted to such tactics? Such behavior is simply unacceptable from anyone.

The acting mayor requested a ban on the resident preventing him from speaking at future meetings until he submits an apology. It is our position the council was just in setting the standard for behavior during its meetings.

While residents don’t have to agree with decisions made by either county or city officials, it doesn’t mean they may treat them with such blatant disrespect and stoop to name-calling.

One of the problems which results from stepping over the line of common decency is the messenger loses credibity with the very people he or she is trying to talk to. Such is the case in this instance.

Sure, elected officials are held to a higher standard and open themselves to criticism from residents for the decisions they make, but they didn’t sign on for such unprofessional behavior and should not be subject to it.

The city attorney also acted appropriately in saying research into the hopefully short-lived ban was necessary.

While we don’t support muzzling the public &045; they have a right to voice their opinion and their thoughts regarding governmental decisions whether leaders appreciate the message &045; in this case, perhaps sending a message of common courtesy is called for.