My friend Suzy Thames makes a good point in her tip for the week:

“Stop all gossip about our Hamilton City Council and our Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department.

“Both are equal in points to make to the citizens of Hamilton and deserve a chance to be heard. Gossip does our town no good and harms all who participate in it.

“Pray we all come together in one harmony that makes everyone proud.”

Lately, our city has been besieged by internal strife, personal animosities and negative forces that undermine everything we work for. 

Divisiveness and bitterness surfaced the week prior to the election, and you know what? The sun came up Sunday morning with a new look for our city council. And life will go on.

Not to trivialize the issues or the results – we should respect everyone’s concerns – but in our system of government, that's why we have elections.

The ballot box is the best place to vent opinions and frustrations. It’s a right not known in other parts of the world where weapons decide who will be in charge. 

And if you didn’t exercise that right last Saturday, you lost your right to complain or slander those elected.

No one enjoys losing, but having multiple candidates gives us choices and a reason to study issues and think about what kind of city, county, school system or country we want.

We should thank the candidates for being willing to serve in volunteer positions that open them up to whatever the public wants to say about what they’re doing.

One thing we could do to encourage political participation is lower our voices and resist the temptation to turn public debate into meanness.

Those who step forward to serve in local government accept that not everybody is going to agree with every decision they make. It comes with the territory, and those who don't deal well with criticism probably shouldn’t throw their hats into the ring. But reasonable differences of opinion and personal attacks are two different things.

We need good people free of agendas willing to volunteer their time to serve, especially now when money is tight for all entities.

Whether it’s a school board member or city councilman, those trying to do their best for our community shouldn’t be fodder for gossip or personal attacks. Question their decisions, yes, hold them accountable, yes, but like I said, save your venting for the ballot box. Or throw your own hat into the ring.

Our local officials are our neighbors, our friends; we’re all in this together, trying to make Hamilton the best it can be.

We should think about that next time we’re tempted to belittle these who serve with much expectation and little praise, because without them, our system of self-government cannot exist.

As Suzy says, “God bless Hamilton and all who reside here.”


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