10/02/12 — Civil discourse: Community came together to talk about an issue

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Civil discourse: Community came together to talk about an issue

Politics has never been a place to turn when you are looking for advice on tolerance, respect and manners.

In most cases, discussions over issues at meetings involving elected officials end up in some kind of bitter dialogue or with a whole slew of ruffled feathers and bruised egos.

Not so in Pikeville.

More than 40 residents showed up for their town board's meeting Monday -- all with something to say about the proposal for a new town hall.

And they did so without bickering, without talking over one another and without the discussion disintegrating into partisan grandstanding or name-calling.

They just told their leaders why they think, perhaps, the idea of dropping $400,000 or more on a new town hall might be a project for a later date, when the economy is a bit better.

And many of those in attendance offered alternatives -- less expensive propositions that would allow the town to move its headquarters and not go into debt.

Sounds like the olden days when respect was something more than a toss-off line in a rap song, huh?

Perhaps there are a few other boards in the county who could learn something from Pikeville's civilized discourse -- perhaps one of those public bodies that cannot even seem to have a civil discussion among themselves, let alone with the citizenry.

There is no guarantee that despite the pleas of the town's residents, that the town board will listen. But knowing that there are people who care enough to speak up is a good sign not only for Pikeville, but for this county's future.

Published in Editorials on October 2, 2012 11:05 AM