I want to applaud the Barbourville City Council members for holding their own as they were being ‘called out’ at the last meeting about their opinion on the wet/dry vote.
First, let me say this is just my opinion, and you can agree with me or not, but I don’t feel hitting them up with this question in public was the right thing to do.
These people are bi-partisan leaders of this community, and any remark they make in public, good or bad, can be used against them by anyone who may not agree with their reply. After all, the general public is not held to the higher standards as those of a community leader.
The council, as a whole, made it quite clear that no matter what the outcome of the vote, they will abide by the majority of the vote, and that should have been the end of it.
If you want to stand up at a city council and publically voice your opinion on a subject, by all means, do so. The mayor takes the time to ask anyone if they have anything to say. He’s opened the door.
But, this time it was the city council members who were called out individually as if their reply would determine if they would still be in those seats at the next election.
Yes, as citizens of this town, they each have their own opinions, and they have the right to discuss their opinions in private with their friends and family, but as city officials, they should not have been subjected to a public ambush with their backs against the wall – literally.
As the editor of the newspaper, I too am under scrutiny for everything I do, say, and write. I also have my own opinions about the wet/dry vote. Will I announce those opinions to the general public? No. Do I have to? No. Why? As a citizen I may have my opinion, but as a public face in this community it’s my duty to tow the line and go with whatever the voters decide.
The city council members are there to help the mayor run this city, and if anyone has a question concerning the running of this city, then, by all means, ask it in good faith.
But, voting on any issue is a personal decision, and should not have to be publicized. It would be easy for someone with an agenda to gauge how a city council member will vote and perhaps use it against them in the future.
This was just wrong.