It’s really no secret that the town of Ocean View has been filled with acrimony over the past several months.
There has been rampant name-calling, at least one physical altercation at Ocean View Town Hall and several incidents of nothing getting accomplished because of personal animosities. It’s been ugly, without a doubt, and the new mayor and council member have their work cut out for them in terms of getting the council working together for the sake of the town.
But they are not solely to blame for the town’s problems.
Many residents of the town have been behaving deplorably recently, as well. The recent planning and zoning meeting resulted in a threat to call in the police if the audience didn’t behave, and several town council meetings have been interrupted by booing when a council member attempted to speak. In short, it’s embarrassing behavior, and disrupts the ability of town officials to conduct business.
We are all for the citizens being involved in the running of the town. We praise the voter turnout for the recent Ocean View Town Council election, and we will argue until our keyboards turn blue for residents to have the right to voice their opinions. However, there is a time and place for one to speak his or her mind, and it is essential that people use that time to make their voices heard. Disrupting meetings may seem like the thing to do at the time, but it’s not. It only slows progress, and casts a darker light on the town throughout the entire community.
What’s happening right now borders on anarchy. It is not brave or revolutionary to act childish in public meetings, it is counterproductive and silly — and only inflames the problems the town has already been facing amongst its leadership.
Speak up during the public comment periods of meetings, write letters to demand change and campaign hard for officials you feel would do a better job leading your town. There is a system in place, and though it might have its flaws, it’s there for a reason — to improve the quality of life for the town’s residents in an efficient and fair manner.
It’s time for the officials and residents of Ocean View to get down to the business of, well, Ocean View.