OPINION: Behave like adults


Chatham-Kent council and administration should be taking note of a policy for delegations recently developed by Essex County council.

Officials in Essex passed what are essentially three “good conduct” policies after being forced to cut a meeting short due to shouting and disruptive behaviour regarding an issue that wasn’t even on the agenda.

In that case, the spread of disinformation resulted in a mob mentality by enough members of the delegation to make it unsafe to have any meaningful discussion.

Chatham-Kent council has seen its share of heated issues over the years as council chambers have been filled with those intending to inform, educate or intimidate (depending on your stance on the issue of the day).

When audience members find it difficult to hear their elected officials or those with opposing views speak, no one wins.

At a time when council members have the ability to weaponize their social media followers or to spread disinformation to push their own personal agenda, council needs to have a tool to ensure that orderly discussion of issues is the norm.

Given that less than one in three voters cast ballots in last fall’s municipal election, we run the risk of turning local government over to those who can yell the loudest.

Is that what we want?

Those of you who follow the progress of municipal construction projects could be forgiven for thinking there were two moons in the sky recently when repairs to the Murray Street Bridge in Wallaceburg were completed a week earlier than the date on detour signs.

It was a welcome change from the “someone didn’t order the guardrails” or “who knew there could be cables under the bridge” scenarios that have plagued recent projects. We don’t know if this is a feather in the cap of new GM Edward Soldo, but someone should be taking a bow.


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