After a few months of relative peace, personalities and tension appear to be prevalent once again in Ocean View.
We understand, and actually embrace the notion, that council members will have different opinions on sometimes sensitive issues. That’s how progress happens, and the best decisions are nearly always reached when both sides of an argument are heard, discussed and considered.
But both sides must also be respected — that is clearly not the case right now in the town.
The rancor is abysmal. Our elected officials are supposed to have the best interests of the citizens in mind, as opposed to one-upsmanship amongst their own. Elected officials should set an example on how to behave in town meetings, and how to work together for the better good of the people they represent.
That is not the case in Ocean View right now, and it spilled over to the audience in Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Several members of the audience Tuesday night spoke out of turn, and made loud comments throughout the course of the meeting. Again, we encourage public input and sometimes chastise governmental bodies who don’t let people have their say, but there is a time for public discussion. During the meeting, when council members are in conversation, is not the proper time for such conversation — besides that, it’s rude for others who came to listen to the meeting.
But we can not expect better behavior of town residents at meetings if town officials do not set the proper example. We’ve written it over and over again in this space — the members of the Ocean View Town Council are incredibly smart, committed and creative. But if they are not able to work together, then they are all wasting their individual abilities.
We are calling on the leaders of Ocean View to lead, and not set an example of boorish behavior. People follow their leaders, and right now the leaders are going down a questionable path in terms of behavior in a public forum.
Reasonable adults should be able to discuss differences in a reasonable manner, particularly when the differences impact the lives of the people they were elected to serve.