Mediator could allow Greenfield councilors to focus on ‘real issues’

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Admittedly, my only exposure to the substance of the recent rash of intramural disputes in local government is online in the Recorder. And, it has been many years since I was a resident of the town.

However, I have read the recent prominent articles on executive disputes over parking tickets, bullying between officials and potential use of subpoena power to address behavioral infractions. It appears that engagement of a mediator may be a practical means of resolving these conflicts at an early stage in order to maintain the focus on the real problems in Greenfield.

Frustrations and personality conflicts will always surface in governmental officials with differing political views. Activists have never been known to have the same agendas and priorities. However, when the primary focus of the group becomes the lack of respect for differences with little capacity to “agree to disagree,” the entity becomes the “Lords of the Flies.”

From the outside, it certainly seems like occasional intervention by a professional mediator at the early stages of many conflicts could keep the focus on maintaining the streets and the roads, rather than the behavioral protocol of an official receiving a parking ticket.

Steven Kramer