Rudeness to city staff: council and mayor lose moral high ground | Street Jazz

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rudeness to city staff: council and mayor lose moral high ground

Posted By on Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 11:11 AM

I have a strong belief about public service - and journalism, as well, when you think about it:

If you want love, buy a dog.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about respect, and rudeness, and the sensitivities of Fayetteville City staff. Like another city volunteer before me, I have been accused of “rudeness.” So much so that a highly-paid member of the city administration, has asked that she no longer be required to appear personally before the Telecomm Board, because I was disrespectful to her.

I was mean.

I was a jerk.

At this point it would have been appropriate for someone at the city council level to say,”Well, what does Richard Drake have to say about this?” 

I know better than to suggest that Dan Coody would have jumped right in there with that question.

But no one did.

So, in essence, I was publicly Slimed by a member of city staff.

Which is fine, as far as it goes. I’m a big boy. But there is a larger issue at stake here, and that is one of fairness, and equal treatment before the city.

I didn’t mention the fact that the person who chose to Slime me before the city council was highly-paid for no particular reason, but to make a point. In the grand balance, is the word of a staffer to be taken over the word of a citizen-volunteer - who makes zilch - automatically by the city council, without even hearing from the individual involved?

Is this Policy? Should this be printed as a warning on the top of every application that citizens fill out when they volunteer for city boards and committees?

It’s entirely possible that someone at the council level (or the mayor) may wish to raise the rudeness issue this coming Tuesday, but I’m not prepared to discuss it. If they wanted to talk about it, someone should have said the magic words:

“What does Richard Drake have to say about this?”

To put it bluntly, they have not only lost their window of opportunity, they have boarded it up.

Whatever moral high ground the council - and Dan Coody in particular  - may wish to take on this matter will be built  upon quicksand, and I will not participate in any discussion of the subject.

I’m more than aware that the whole “If you want love, buy a dog,” warning applies to me, as well as to city staff/elected officials. But this goes beyond that, I think.

It goes way beyond that.

******

I was feeling just generally fisgusted last week. So disgusted in fact that I was just going to resign from the Telecomm Board. But so many people have contacted me, and expressed support, that I have changed my mind.

rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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