Addison Council Work Session February 16, 2015: A Suggestion for Town Leadership

Addison Council Work Session February 16, 2015:
A Suggestion for Town Leadership

After watching this week’s Council meeting, I was reminded that “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Ludlum should be required reading, annually, by each member.

To set the stage, the Work Session agenda, set by the Mayor, contained item WS4 entitled:

Discussion regarding City Council roles, responsibilities, procedures,
policies, including the code of ethics and Council conduct and interaction.

From my vantage point the item, 150+pages, provided a prosecutorial platform for the Mayor and his allies to castigate Councilmember DeFrancisco for several alleged instances of public behavior that he/they deemed inappropriate.

Oh boy, does that open a whole realm of subject material…to wit:

Fulghum writes (an excerpt):

All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

           “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten…These are the things I learned…:

                     Share everything.

                     Play fair.

                    Don’t hit people.

                    Put things back where you found them.

                    Clean up your own mess.

                    Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

                    Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody…

         Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
         sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
         family life or your work or your government or
         your world and it holds true and clear and firm…
         And it is still true, no matter how old you are –
         when you go out into the world,it is best
         to hold hands and stick together.”

OK, OK it’s cute, but somewhere in Fulghum’s words there is truth.

Regardless of motivation, whether pure or not, the Mayor and Council taking the public’s time to discuss such a subject, and in the venue and manner discussed, should serve as a warning to everyone… Addison is changing, and not for the better. It’s election season, and you could be next!

The only reason to do this seems to me to be to humiliate, embarrass, and intimidate another person – a hell of a way to lead or build a team. Can you imagine being a public-spirited citizen who’s contemplating running for the Council, watching the Work Session, and thinking, “Why the hell would I subject myself to that????” Is this the message you want your Mayor and Council to send?

A wise person once said “Praise in public and punish in private.” I suppose we’ve learned, again, that there is no leadership on this Council, just politicians playing “Gotcha last.” Is that what you voted for? Not me!