Explosive rhetoric not conducive to finding solutions

June 5, 2013 

One of the goals of the new consolidated government -- whenever the election is held and the government is installed -- should be to change the tone. While the Bibb County Commission is generally more cordial than Macon City Council, voters should put congeniality on the list of traits they want to see in their candidates of choice. Members of any government should choose their words carefully. Flying off the handle or using emotionally charged words does not move the discussion toward solution. It only massages overinflated egos.

An example of what not to do was provided in Monday’s Ordinances & Resolutions Committee meeting. Several council members fired their cannon at one of their former employees who now works for the county in the Parks & Recreation Department. Dale “Doc” Dougherty, the recreation director, is being blamed for not opening the swimming pools by Memorial Day as was the city’s custom. Three pools opened Tuesday, but the pools at Bloomfield Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center and Freedom Park, remain closed for repairs.

Council members charged Dougherty with not being concerned with recreation. One council member called it “shameful.” Another compared the situation to racial segregation of facilities in the last century and an indictment of the county’s operation since taking over recreation facilities. How the pools’ late openings compares to segregation is beyond understanding.

The committee wants Dougherty to appear before it and give an explanation. They forget he is no longer their employee, and why would he want to walk into an atmosphere knowing that all they want to do is beat him up -- not provide a solution?

It’s easy to point fingers at the county, but if the pools had been maintained properly while under city control, the situations at Frank Johnson, Freedom Park and Bloomfield wouldn’t exist. That’s what happens when fingers are pointed -- three are always pointing in the opposite direction.

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