Service is about the greater good

Service is about the greater good

The Woonsocket City Council meeting held on Sept. 18 was yet another difficult situation through which we had to navigate. Also present was the recurring theme of council members who focus on their enemies and not the problem.

Referred to as The Amygdala Hijack, it is where folks tend to focus deeply on an emotion and not the point of discussion. The person is not the issue; the problem is the issue, and I will get to what I mean by that specifically.

Some council members chose to use fact, and others utilized opinion and palaver, and others dictionary references and some the more circuitous route to their point of view. But, what no one did was focus on the problem!

A problem is an opportunity and the catalyst for change. We must stop the pervasive and creeping disorder we see within the four walls of Harris Hall during council meetings, yet even when presented with an opportunity (problem), the council members as leaders of our city didn’t employ thought leadership.

Some chose to not focus on the problem and to dissolve and tear down “people.” The time, energy, illogical patronizing and disparaging efforts that were executed against the preparation of their rebuttals, reading verbatim what others wrote for them and speaking to such – would have been better used to simply…simply…solve the problem.

The problem at hand isn’t freedom of speech nor opinion, but when someone uses free speech beyond its intended use. When does free speech become offensive?

Ask Jeffrey Mezger, the CEO of homebuilder KB Home.

He wasn’t at work, but rather at home and still shows, proves as a corporate official or city official you are always “on”, and to carry yourself as such.

Based on the meeting and evidence we might feel a bit clearer on this, or do we? Regardless, vexation was present.

I ask…

• What was in place?

• How did it happen?

• How will it not happen again?

Based on research there is truly nothing in existence that will satisfy the aforementioned. Nowhere that I could see is there a policy, procedure or process that indicates how city officials appointed, elected or otherwise should compose themselves in the interest of the public.

Being a public figure in Woonsocket should require one to be above reproach and avoid even the very slightest appearance of indecorum.

I recommend to initiate and create a draft for how council and board members should act, recognizing that stewardship of Woonsocket’s interests must be their primary concern, all whilst working collectively for the common good.

Simply titled – City of Woonsocket Code of Conduct for Elected and Appointed Officials

Perchance this may establish some decency and order in our political community.

I look forward to seeing some action put toward this initiative.

My point of view is not to be a rabble-rouser, but rather consider the needs of the city before the needs of oneself.

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” - Mark Twain

Scott Andrew MacLennan