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Rules of civility

By Staff | Jan 22, 2009

To the editor,

I beg to differ with Steven B. Smith’s letter to the editor (Jan. 15, 2009). I attend many City Council meetings, and I want to take a moment to assure Sanibel citizens that people who regularly attend the council meetings are very aware of the council’s “rules of civility.” These regular attendees are not paid “lobbyists” and they were not the people who made a loud, rude noise when Council voted to appoint Planning Commissioners in early January.

The people who made that loud, rude noise were not regular attendees of the council meetings, and they probably should have been reminded of the council’s “rules of civility,” which are printed at the end of each council agenda.

Most of us who regularly attend council meetings sit quietly and listen; we do not “demand” to be heard on every issue. The written and audio records of these meetings provide proof of this assertion. The few chaotic meetings of council that I have witnessed have happened when an issue has attracted a number of people who do not regularly attend. I suggest that when such an issue is on the agenda, the mayor or city attorney take a moment to read aloud the “rules of civility” so the newcomers or infrequent attendees are aware of how they are expected to behave.

Barbara Joy Cooley

Sanibel