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Civil discourse

Posted 1/4/22

Many eyes have been on the Sullivan County Legislature in recent weeks and what decision they will make regarding who will chair the body for the next two years.

That decision is slated to be made …

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Civil discourse

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Many eyes have been on the Sullivan County Legislature in recent weeks and what decision they will make regarding who will chair the body for the next two years.

That decision is slated to be made at a reorganization meeting this morning.

While the public has had the opportunity to call the legislators tasked with making this decision and make statements about it through various avenues – public comment, letters to the editor, etc. – there is little else that can be done at this point.

The important decision lies in the hands of the nine legislators and it is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

However, no matter who you personally support for the role of chair, there is something that will need to be addressed. The divide that exists within the body.

Sure, most of their votes on crucial legislation has been largely of the 9-0 or 8-1 variety, but it doesn’t take a political pundit to recognize that an almost constant contentiousness exists with this legislature.

Yes, in politics there will always be debate, which at the core is one of the greatest parts of our democratic republic. However, there’s a difference between debate and downright embarrassing dialogue – a line that has been crossed too many times in the past two years.

So we implore this legislature, and whoever emerges as its chair for the next two years, to do what is necessary to unite this group.We need to return to a time of civil discourse.

We urge all nine legislators to communicate with each other and to personally come into 2022 with the intention of working together. While differences of opinion and healthy debate are instrumental in a strong governmental body, we urge our legislature to keep the debate civil and focused on the issues, not personalities.

And to the members of the public who continue to be a watchdog of open government – make sure that your voices are that of reason and deal with issues and possible solutions.

Only in this way can we return our county government to a position of respected leadership.

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