Editor's note: Due to a spell-check glitch, the original letter had an incorrectly substituted word. The error has been corrected.
To the editor:
On Thursday, July 4th, we celebrated the grand experiment we call Government. Most realists understand that government is not infallible, not always right and not always fair. But at this point in time, it is the best we have and it demands care and vigilance by all of us if it is going to serve our collective needs. On Friday, July 5, at 1 p.m., the City of Cape Coral stopped accepting nominations for 3 Council seats and 1 seat for Mayor. That list of candidates will be presented to the voters in the August primary for their consideration.
There is a good selection of candidates and viewpoints on the issues facing the City. There are three incumbents, several individuals who have served previously and most encouraging, we have some young faces like Ms. Sawicki, Mr. Leon, Mr. Cummings and Mr. Ashby.
Ultimately, the final decision of who will represent the citizens rests with you the "citizen" voter. You must listen to the candidates and listen to their analysis and evaluate their solution. It is not an easy task.
In this city there is a group of people, who probably are sincere, but nonetheless, bring turmoil and confusion to the election process. They accuse people at City Hall of wasting and stealing "THEIR" tax dollars. They express their view that all city employees are overpaid.
They make accusations they never substantiated (the big shots at city hall eat steaks and taxpayers eat cat food!) and always seem to be physically "angry" at everyone who disagrees with them. They scream, "taxed enough already (the T-People)," want all current city services they have and think they can do so with a "no new taxes" policy.
They have a right to their viewpoint. The concern is not their viewpoint, but their method. They accuse without facts, they "mudsling" at will, they are angry and aggressive with anyone who disagrees with them. They will talk down to opponents and hide behind the uncertainly and turmoil they create. This becomes a "cancer" that destroys trust and makes us all weary of the election process.
Democracy demands vigilance. Let's stop the "mudslingers" before they start. Let's get those who are out of control, to temper their angry public rhetoric before they start. Let's demand facts in the face of inflammatory accusations.
Do you want a free, fair, and effective election? Then you must participate. Demand your candidate pledge civility in their campaign demeanor. Demand your candidate not use character assassination or mudslinging. Demand your candidate use facts, cover public issues and most of all that they be clear about solutions. (Ex: if police are overpaid, how much should they be paid?)
If we have another divisive, destructive, dysfunctional elections, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Democracy demands your vigilance.
F. C. Perry