Categorized | Editorial, News

EDITORIAL: Civility Disobedience

RIcky Aviles (File photo)

RIcky Aviles (File photo)

PERTH AMBOY – There has been much discussion at Council Meetings about the lack of civility between the Council and some of the speakers. Finally at the 3/11/15 Council Meeting this topic was placed on the agenda because of a request by Resident Reinaldo Aviles.

Aviles quoted Socrates: “If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me,” because his role was that of a gadfly, “to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.”

From Wikipedia – In modern politics, a gadfly is someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position.

He continued to speak: “There’s the gadflys; there’s people on a soapbox (one issue person) or constructive critics (like Alan Silber). I have at one time or another, been all three. Sometimes you may have to work one on one with a Council Members for a successful conclusion. Something that a gadfly might say is not taken seriously. Maybe that’s why you (the Council) cut the time for the speakers from ten to five minutes. Maybe you would like to cut the public comments down to zero. You don’t encourage people who have good ideas. My point is if you dislike what you hear, you discourage people to come out. If I were you, I would encourage people who have good ideas to come forward.”

Councilman Fernando Gonzalez said, “We make an effort to look at ideas that we consider are good.” He referenced the problem about cat control. “This has been a problem since I was on the Council on my first term and it was finally presented with a possible solution on 3/9/15. I feel comfortable about something which I think is important.”

Council President Lisa Nanton said, “We can’t change things when just one person has an idea. Bring us data, surveys and comparisons. Sometimes people take data and use it out of context to make personal attacks. When things are presented in reasonable tones we can have a back and forth discussion.”

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MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

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City Hall, High St.

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