Missed opportunity for civic debate

Monday, November 06, 2017

Against the national media backdrop of mayhem, conspiracies, and sexual harassment, I had looked forward to last Monday’s Conway Town Meeting: democracy pure and simple.

As the Recorder coverage (“Conway tables Safe Communities question”) pointed out, what transpired was neither pure nor simple. A citizen’s petition was brought before the meeting. The author made a passionate statement on its behalf, immediately followed by an equally passionate argument against it by our highly respected chief of police.

A great opportunity for civic debate presented itself but the moment evaporated into thin air when the chief moved to table further discussion.

We had all listened respectfully to the author and the chief of police. How rare it would have been to have had an airing of views where each townsperson could listen to another viewpoint and could express their own as well.

It saddened me particularly to hear the disillusionment of several millennials with whom I was speaking, trying to be heard over the “heated shouting match” that followed the meeting’s adjournment.

John H. Cordes