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Time to raise the bar

January 7, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Ah, Cape politics - always interesting, always diverse.

That's a good thing. We take little issue with the free expression of opinion, even when that expression gets, well, a little down and dirty.

We may not be real fond of the mudballs but then, neither is the average resident, meaning those who relish the muck and mire soil themselves more than they do those with whom they disagree.

The recent council election proved that to a T.

And yet the most base forms of expression continue to dominate the city's political scene.

Name calling.

Personal attacks.

Dire predictions.

Fear mongering.

Labeling those of opposing views.

It's so much easier than presenting facts, debating issues or actually - gasp - putting solutions on the table for consideration, the highest level of public expression.

Count us as among those who are especially perplexed at the attempt to dub six members of the voter-reconfigured eight-seat city council as the "slick six."

Not to confuse the issue with the facts but three of the six were just elected in November. Add in the one and only incumbent to win his re-election bid and you have four officials who split the vote, assuming one buys into the argument that union support drove the general election results.

Meanwhile, the two veteran members of the so-called "six," are pretty opinionated individuals not afraid to call the issues as they see them.

None of the "six" have signed any joint political statements nor have they announced any "like-mindedness." Heck, they've yet to get more than a handful of meetings under their belt and have not espoused any sycophantic agenda as did the previous council majority routed at the ballot box.

What gives - besides Cape politics played at its lowest level?

Yet again.

We have a suggestion, and it applies not only to those who rue the demise of the faction self-dubbed the "Fab 5," but to those who support the new council majority as well: Let's raise the bar for political discourse in the Cape.

Give the board - all of its members - the opportunity to put solutions on the table.

Listen to their arguments in favor or against.

Weigh in on the issues.

And then agree with the positions taken or not.

That's hometown politics, that's grassroots dialogue, that's public input that can make a difference.

Unlike lobbing mudballs from entrenched positions hoping only for some dirt to stick.

- Breeze Newspapers



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