COLUMN: It’s nothing personal
The Hartselle City Council has reminded me of an old Looney Tunes cartoon involving the wolf and the sheepdog.
In that cartoon, the wolf and the sheepdog went after each other while they were clocked in, but once they went on lunch break or finished their shift for the day, they treated each other with respect.
That’s the way I feel about Mayor Dwight Tankersley and the five city council members. Before and after they meeting, they will joke around and be good friends, but during the meeting, they can at times appear to be enemies.
The council members will stand up for what they believe is the best for the city. They express their opinion and vote on the issue, whether it’s a unanimous vote or a split 3-2 vote.
When asked a question, Tankersley will state what his opinion is, whether the council agrees with it or not.
To come to a decision, they might decide to compromise where everyone gets a little bit of what they want, but no one gets all of what he wants. Then on other issues, they just agree to disagree. They will voice their objections when the other council members move forward with something they don’t like.
This is a good example of how you’d want a democracy to operate. You don’t want your leaders to be “yes” men and just go along with everything that’s proposed. However, they do need to have the freedom to make the best decision for the city whether it’s a popular one or not.
Arguing during meetings is a good thing because this is when you learn where everyone stands on an issue. This not only helps the council, but also their constituents to know what the facts on the issue are and what they’re going to do.
Then once the meeting is over, they go back to being good friends. No one takes the discussion personally.
They may not agree, but it won’t affect their position down the road.
It’s just business.
The most you can ask out of your city leaders is for them to do the best they can for the city.
Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.