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Respect should work both ways at city commission

Anonymous • Jan 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM

My topic this week is about extending professional courtesy.

I think the city reporter should get some kind of award for his diligence. Sometimes his job can be easy and other times it can be downright excruciating and very frustrating just trying to get any news from the city to write about.

I watch the city reporter stand up at the podium every city meeting and he tries very hard to be polite and patient while waiting for his questions to be answered. Some city staff and commissioners try to humiliate him and find ways to loop through his questions so they don’t have to answer them.      

Something is very wrong at City Hall when there is so much hostility towards a newspaper reporter. At the last meeting, I watched a City Commissioner reprimand the reporter while everyone looked on.

If it were not for the newspaper, we would not know what is going on in our community.  The reporter can go where the average person can’t possibly go to obtain information. Asking for accountability, transparency, and public records shouldn’t be misconstrued as being negative when trying to seek out the answers.

Before I retired, I serviced the public my entire working career.  I was responsible for that very first impression of my company either by phone or someone visiting the company.  I was always taught to service the customers to the best of my ability and always be professional at all times. It doesn’t matter if you are having a bad day or something is going on in your personal life, the performance needs to be there.       

The commissioners demand that the citizens at the podium show them respect when addressing them but that works both ways, especially, when the taxpayer standing at the podium pays their salaries and ranks at the top of the organization chart.  A hostile environment should not exist towards the citizens who are seeking answers as to what kind of progress is being made at City Hall. Charter members, Commissioners, and the City Manager need to set an example for staff as to how customer service should be professionally implemented.

Until next week, attitudes at the city must be changed in order to service the public with the utmost respect they so deserve and anything less then that is unacceptable.


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