Good communicators: Better local leaders
“ Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.”
— Otto von Bismarck
1860s German statesman.
Borough, township and school district elected leaders do not necessarily enact laws in the commonly held sense, but they do attend to the public's business in all cases before them.
And Bismarck's quote applies.
Ford City Council member Jerry Miklos is a case in point. He pretty much is willing to take his colleagues and others to task over anything they suggest, challenging all by asking open-end questions instead of offering alternative solutions. His fellow council members should ask him for specific suggestions
But challenges, such as those offered by Mr. Miklos in Ford City, are the necessary pains of governing — as long as arguments remain civil and the ultimate goal is to make our boroughs, townships and schools run more efficiently.
Unfortunately, there is only one recourse when matters become heated before public bodies, and that is a president or chairman who uses his gavel unsparingly.
Leadership that fosters creative discussion is a must as our governing boards take on the challenges of cutting costs. Learning to speak calmly and explaining themselves to taxpayers will help. Too often leaders speak under the assumption that all listening will know the background of the topic — and many may not.
It's better to be answerable to the public by learning the finer points of communication.
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.
- The atom smasher
- Open records: Hold the phone?
- The Arneson firing: Legally dubious
- U.N. Watch: Climate games
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- A hunting question: A Pennsylvania proposal to limit the game that mentored youth hunters can take appears to be a solution in search of a problem
- Saturday essay: The thumb itches
- Snow shovelers needed: A call for volunteers
- Jesse White’s chutzpah
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Public pension ‘ka-boom’