We have noticed a rather disturbing trend in regards to public comments during City Council meetings. More and more we see people that come to the microphone berated and vilified by public officials. Because we express our concerns about the city, we have to endure indignation and anger.
We should not be the focus of that indignation and anger. We go there as messengers. We see problems and come seeking solutions. We are not there just to complain. We are there seeking help from Council and the Mayor-- Help and guidance to solve our city’s problems.
Council members continually attempt to rebut our concerns with dissertations on the “good things” about Easton, and there is no denying that there are many “good things” about Easton. But a “good thing” from my perspective is a goal that has been accomplished. A “good thing” stands alone as a mark of success. “Good Things” have already received the required investment of time, energy and money; either by the City, a group(s), or individuals.
A “problem”, on the other hand, is something that effects citizens in a negative way and has not found solution. It may not have yet been identified as something that needs attention. “Problems” have not yet received the necessary investments.
A “good thing” is an ending that will be recognized, and it will usually lose the spotlight quickly. However, if we allow ourselves to bask and gloat in the spotlight of a “good thing” for too long we will waste precious time necessary to change more “problems” into “good things”.
Our elected officials must realize that this means that public comments will be disproportionately spent on “problems”… This is not specific to Easton, and this is not a bad thing. It is just part of the process of moving a “problem” to a “good thing”. Ignoring the “problem“ will cause it to be repeated over and over again, instead of evolving it into a “good thing”.
A “problem” in itself should not reflect poorly on an elected official, but a lack of interest or concern by an official will. You are our leaders; you need to lead us in converting “problems” into “good things”. Standing in the spotlight too long only blinds you to “problems” that require your investment.