Dave Richards for August 28th…………….
--It may have been because of the announcement of the impending death of U.S. Senator John McCain, but I saw a movie on TV the other day I’d never seen before. It depicted the day to day conditions and survival of prisoners of war in Vietnam. The movie was graphic, to a point. It certainly opened my eyes. Most of my buddies who served in the Vietnam Conflict won’t talk about what happened there. Among the POWs who were highlighted in that movie was John McCain. When I paused for a moment to think of what that man did during his life it fills me with awe. In addition to his military service, becoming a U.S. Representative and then a U.S. Senator and running for the Presidency….? It seems to me that any one of those would be enough for most people. This man did it all. Amazing!
--We seem to be in a time of unrest in our city. Disagreement between departments of our own city government is at a level I cannot remember seeing in my 40 years as a broadcaster in Woonsocket.
Our City Council failed to come to terms with the Mayor over appointments to the School Committee. It got so bad that finally the citizens took back the right to appoint members of the School Committee. The Mayor vetoed the City Council’s changes to her budget and because a so-called “super-majority” was required to override that veto, the Mayor prevailed. The Zoning Department allowed Rise Prep to relocate to 30 Cumberland Street, and now the City Council is hiring legal counsel to stop the school from operating there. Now we hear the city cannot even come to accord with the teacher’s union and our teachers have no contract Ugh!
It is natural that sometimes people don’t get along. When people don’t get along and yet are forced by circumstance to work together, it is, I suppose, not surprising that after a while tempers will flare. But this is when they need to step up their game and to the hard work of government!
Disagreement can be healthy and constructive. But sometimes it can be an obstacle to progress and destructive to productivity. From what I can hear and see, the standing disagreements among Woonsocket’s various leaders have now become destructive.
I try not to take sides or point fingers. It’s tempting, but it would do no real good. The people involved here don’t need me to tell them where the problems lie. They also don’t want to listen to me preaching to them to stop keeping score and put aside the differences. They don’t want to hear it, but it would do them good to consider it.
The big issue here is that everyone has an opinion. And they like their own opinion and they like anyone who has the same opinion as they do. And they don’t like anyone else who fails to share their opinion. But that’s not how government works, friend. Everyone needs to put their ideas forward. If others agree, good. If they disagree, then try to persuade them to see things your way. If you fail to convince them to agree with you, it’s not time to dig your heals in and fight to the death. That’s what children who don’t know better do. What responsible adults are supposed to do is to find some way to work together, even if you cannot agree.
I think anyone in government who sabotages the efforts of another because they disagree with that other person should not be in government. Politics is not supposed to be a ‘blood sport’. It is supposed to be a select few working for the betterment of all.
I realize the likelihood of the feuds suddenly ending simply because I wrote these words is poor. But, if people who are offering themselves for our approval at the polls are people who cannot work with others who don’t agree with them………then we have chosen unwisely.
Let’s keep this in mind in the upcoming elections.
A wise man once said that “Harmony is the strength and support of all institutions.” Those working to promote a climate of harmony and cooperation are those who will succeed. And those are the people we should elect to serve us. Otherwise it will just be more childish ‘championship wrestling exhibitions’…….at the taxpayer’s expense.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.