For too long – way too long – Ocean View has been polarized on every issue, whatever its nature. A “time-out” is needed. Our Town needs the “great middle” to become more involved.
Now comes an opportunity. Sixty-five citizens came forward with a petition demonstrating interest in our Town. While convinced the decisions on their petition were predictable and would be quick, I give credit for adding to the roster of those becoming involved. It raises hopes.
Even though participation in their subsequent meeting was apparently restricted (not clearly understood by everyone), making it look like a political organizing effort, folks were discussing issues. It raises hopes for Ocean View if that interest reflects a constructive, positive and continuing involvement of the “great middle.”
Every issue is not of such moment to justify the often bitter polarization nor the sometimes simply inaccurate arguments. Personality conflicts, “getting even” or persistent argument over use of the Melson building are polarizing, but they continue in play, as I know first-hand. It is time for old issues to go away.
Think about it. Allegiance to one end of the polarized spectrum is so much less important than determining what is best for our Town. Constructive disagreements are part of a working process. You have seen what happens when they are destructive.
These things being said, stakeholders need to become more involved. I strongly encourage the leaders of the Concerned Citizens and others who would lead to focus on the future and place our past behind us. Reject polarization; encourage broad participation; focus on the future, not the past; and listen to everyone’s views. Be accurate, focused and effective advocates on the issues that make a real difference: services, infrastructure and budgets. If we do, we will establish a foundation worthy of raised hopes.