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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

West Bend Leadership Wants Citizens to Shut Up

It appears that certain liberal business people and leadership in West Bend do not like being challenged in the public arena.  It's "uncivil."  Seemingly, one must simply state their business kindly and go home.  For years the West Bend School Board was quite content with citizen (and board) compliance to this rule.  Head-nodding was the norm.  Kum.Ba.Ya. Local committees ran the liberal race behind the smoky curtain of citizen dominance.  The citizen became weary of the micromanaging, the controlling nature of West Bend leadership, and the covert mask of the radical left leaving it's trail all over our city.  Area citizens have become vocal, albeit via the internet, the only place where one can exercise First Amendment rights without a committee or a board shutting them down.  Ah, the glory of our forefather's insight into future leftist tactics.  Could it be true....???  The very same people who screamed about "censorship" and "freedom of speech" are now telling West Bend citizens to shut up?  Methinksso.  

The answer?  Um.  No.

A plea for a more civil dialogue within this community was woven throughout Tuesday’s business forum at the West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.’s Prairie Center. 
    Intended as an open discussion of issues facing the West Bend School District and the city of West Bend, several times speakers returned to the theme that honest disagreements over policies are buried under vehement, hostile criticism, which is harming the community’s image. 
    “ D i s a g re e - ment is healthy,” said Dennis Melvin, West Bend city administrator. “The lack of civility is unhealthy.” 
    The perception is that West Bend as a community is polarized by contentious issues, he said, and a more civil discussion about local issues is needed. 
    In recent years, factions have argued over such politically hot topics as school district finances, building referendums, the district’s harassment policy, removing books from the local library’s young adult section and an affordable housing project, often drawing state and national attention. 
    Organized by the West Bend School District, about 30 people attended the forum, consisting of business people and representatives from the school district, city, village of Jackson and Moraine Park Technical College. 
    The group did manage to discuss school district and city issues. 
 John Duwell pointed to “anonymous electronic communications” as a source for the lose of civility in debates over local policy issues. He called it insidious. 
    “What you read in the blogs, what you dial up on the Internet, does not match what is happening here in the (school) district,” said Duwell, a former West Bend School Board member. He is executive vice president and chief legal officer at West Bend Mutual. 
Hillman said the business community should be telling conservative commentators to “lay off on the harping criticism.” 

1 comment:

Mom said...

A very different perspective of the forum can be found at:


Yes, Ginny, our Founding Fathers knew what freedom of the press meant. It is the lifeline of information to the public. When newspapers are bias, we use the technology available to us. Benjamin Franklin would be proud!! Keep it up.