The First Amendment is the bedrock of journalism and the foundation of our ability as citizens to criticize those in power without fear of retribution.
Perhaps the founders should have included a niceness clause.
Public discourse about the future of the Tracy Municipal Airport, the runway length and the ability of developer Les Serpa to build more homes in his Ellis project turned decidedly divisive at the City Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 15.
People stood up in the audience or shouted their disagreement while others were at the podium. Others used their Brown Act mandated time to speak to make derisive remarks about the quality of others’ characters. Still others complained that they were called names and their honor was impugned, only to turn around and list their accuser’s character deficiencies.
There was no attempt to listen or collaborate and find common ground in the best interest of the community. "My way or the highway" seemed to be a theme for most parties.
The result of literally five hours of name-calling, insinuations and backbiting was that all parties dug in their heels on their positions and the community was robbed of informed compromise that might serve all parties.
Should we not leave all the name-calling, vendettas and circus-like shenanigans to people who do it best — Congress?
We expect more from those who would lead or advise our local leaders. We bet the rest of the community does, too.