Snipers. They’re everywhere. You turn this way, and PING! You’re hit. You turn that way and ZIP! A near miss.
This Tuesday, we decided to focus our front page coverage of the Monday night City Council meeting on the retirement of council member Marianna Keesee. That meeting was her last one, and we felt that after her years of service, both on the council and in the community, she deserved the front page. Someone even said that in a rant we received Tuesday morning.
Our decision was to focus the first article on Keesee, then run an article on the rest of the meeting on Wednesday. We made that decision Monday. And we don’t regret it.
Then came Monday night’s meeting. I didn’t attend it myself, but our reporter did, as she always does. We received several rants about the behavior of the mayor and other council members Tuesday morning. We also got hit with a few sniper bullets ourselves – criticism of our decision to wait to report the rest of the meeting.
You will find those comments to the left of this column, and you’ll find the story on the rest of that meeting on today’s front page.
Again...we made a conscious choice to separate the stories...and I’m glad we did.
Now, about the behavior of some council members and the mayor...I have to say, once again, I wasn’t there. But my reporter was, and she filled me in totally – believe me. I will view the video of that meeting when it is posted, because I want to see it myself.
But even without having attended the meeting or viewing the video, I have to say, it’s time to get past the petty and move toward the positive.
Since I’ve been here, I have noticed there frequently seems to be a rift on the City Council. City Council member Julie Smith brought that up on Monday night, citing the often-seen 3-to-2 vote. I have seen that myself.
To be fair, they may vote that way because they actually feel it’s how they should vote. It just seems suspicious to me that it breaks down that way so often.
But I’m not so concerned about past votes as I am the fact that council members would squabble in that way. One even tried to make some valid points, but the squabbling got in the way of reason.
Clearly, there is no record of Tifton ever having had a leader that was perfect. But there is a history of the city’s leadership coming together for the good of the community.
So I say, let the squabbling stop, forget about the past, and put the community and its people first. Politicians are elected to serve – not squabble. Petty differences have no place in public service.
When that gavel is struck at the beginning of each meeting, set aside the issues of yesterday – or even five minutes ago – and get down to the business of running our city. Snipers, no matter who they’re aiming at, need to be sent packing...once and for all.
Reach Angye Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.