What’s the rap against President Waldron’s soft-gavel philosophy?

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What are “you” saying in answer to that question?

Gadfly loves your voices. Let’s go to the tape:

  • “One of the things that concerned me over the last several months is a breakdown in order and decorum . . . so much so that this has been recorded multiple times in the [press].”
  • “While for the most part the meetings proceed normally, the departures are having a disproportionate negative impact on working relationships and Council’s reputation.”
  • “Council members have been unfairly challenged to choose between engaging at the risk of escalation or answer with silence.”
  • “It’s the responsibility of the president to assert control and to maintain decorum. And that hasn’t happened.”
  • “Council has to work together to get business done. Divisiveness and rancor follow when personal attacks are tolerated.”
  • “Public confidence is also affected when this spills out into the public.”
  • “The Council’s reputation is at stake.”
  • “It’s very important to follow the rules and maintain respectful demeanor during meetings. This is the president’s job.”
  • “Subjective freedom of speech can involve personalities.”
  • “This body suffered a tremendous deterioration in its image by the free allowance of subjective freedom of speech to allow members of Council to attack one another . . . unabated, creating a serious problem in terms of our opinion of them “
  • “What needs to happen is strong powerful control of subjective freedom of speech to prevent that kind of character assassination. It’s happened.”
  • “It will be interesting if a slightly heavier gavel will make a difference in the Council climate.”
  • “This is a shame . . . a big shame. . . . I’m very ashamed of a few of you, very ashamed.”
  • “If you can’t work with each other, you shouldn’t be here. . . . to be a City Council person . . . and put people down  in the paper . . . that is not the type of representation we need.”
  • “Sometimes the softer hand doesn’t work, especially when you are attacking your own members.”
  • “Listen to the concerns of everyone who has spoken out . . . . Listen to the fact that you have rules.”
  • “It does not look good for this City if you are fighting amongst each other . . . and it’s in the paper.”
  • “You also realize these recordings are on youtube. Everybody in the world can see them.”
  • “Really think about your actions before doing them, because I have pride in my City.”
  • “People have to realize that everybody is watching you. You are representing us.”
  • “All I ask is that you respect each other.”

Can we distill the comments and agree that there are three main concerns with the soft-gavel style:

  • There’s been a breakdown in decorum
  • that impedes Council work
  • and damages the City’s reputation

Now let’s look at President Waldron’s response.

to be continued . . .

One thought on “What’s the rap against President Waldron’s soft-gavel philosophy?

  1. A lenient approach is possible if a stern response is used when necessary. And the stern approach must be employed when it is necessary.

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