Municipal leadership lacking: 'Town fathers' indeed
Published: Friday, June 14, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
It's an archaic title, especially given the number of women holding public office today. Yet those elected to municipal councils and boards sometimes are referred to as “town fathers.”
They are expected to be leaders, setting an example of decorum and working in the public's interest — just as fathers do for their families.
Alas, this Father's Day weekend, too few “town fathers” deserve that distinction:
• Ford City Council on Monday spent an inordinate amount of time bickering about what was included in the minutes of a previous meeting. Personalities clashed. Citizens' concerns — among them, sidewalks in disrepair, flooding streets and speeding truck traffic — aired late in the meeting and without resolve. Everyone appeared too tired after the earlier arguing.
• Kittanning Council has a minor controversy over whether a drug-sniffing dog is needed in the borough. Donated funds are to be used to buy the dog. What's needed is a calm, informative discussion. So far that hasn't happened.
• Some West Kittanning citizens are concerned about the cost of a planned new municipal building. Why not schedule a special session to air public concerns and council's arguments in favor of construction? The issue deserves the time.
Of course, there's room for disagreements and debates at these sessions. But public meetings should be administered so that discussions are (at least to some degree) productive and ultimately lead somewhere. In too many cases, that's not happening.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- On regulatory ‘autopilot’: Anchors on the economy
- The Thursday wrap
- The Monsour monstrosity
- ObamaCare & minimum wages: A double whammy
- The Box
- Nelson Mandela: The real legacy
- ObamaCare: HIT’s hit
- Thanksgiving 2013: Pausing in unison
- The Thursday wrap
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: A special tinsel