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Time to Play Nice

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. offer a timely reminder of the need for unity and common ground.

Though it hasn't come to fisticuffs, some fighting words have certainly been thrown in Piedmont lately.

Just last week, for example, Councilman Jeff Wieler for saying they'd vote against the parcel tax that supports all city services if the project goes through as planned.

At the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration Monday, Councilwoman Margaret Fujioka called upon the community to "dial down the rhetoric".

"Our city is facing tough and controversial issues that have split our community and pitted neighbor against neighbor," Fujioka said. "Part of the problem is the shrinking budget, tough economic times, and increased competition for scare resources. The other part of the problem, I believe, is people are increasingly focused on "me' instead of 'us'–the individual instead of the community."

A dose of togetherness may indeed be in order this week as the next chapters in several of the heftiest debates in town are written.

evening, City Council will again discuss in closed session the terms of the of the municipal pool facility. Representatives for both parties have continued to exchange redlined versions of a new contract well beyond the original Dec. 31 deadline the club had set forth for agreement.

Also Tuesday, the council will revisit the handling of reports made to police based on bias that was the subject of an emotional public forum in October and a when he was officially elevated to his new post a month later. Chief John Hunt will be presenting to the council his proposal for diversity training for officers and reenforcing the department's stance against discrimination in its policy book.

could prove the biggest test to civilty as the Recreation Commission opens up the floor to comments on the Blair Park proposal for the first time since the . It's also the first time that the proposal's merits will be the official focus of a hearing will officially rather than the validity of the EIR.

When critics and backers of the proposal to develop Blair Park were last in the same room to discuss , it reportedly didn't go well. According to former mayor Al Peters, who's in the critical camp, the proponents refused to compromise beyond their old offer to switch out one of the two originally proposed turf play fields for grass and implement some use restrictions that would only allow one game in the park at a time. Peters said in December that he left feeling the proponents were holding tight to their formidable purse strings to get their way. 

"All the cards are with the side that has the money and the ear of the council," he said then. 

Here's hoping that on Wednesday Dr. King's message of reconciliation will still be hanging in the air and lead Piedmonters to whatever's best for the community as a whole. 

Susan Kahn August 01, 2011 at 07:54 PM
I'm just now seeing this "Time to Play Nice" editorial. Kudos to Amy Jeffries for writing this. It is a sad commentary on local current affairs that she felt the need to write it, and it took courage to do so. Perhaps she can convince the editors of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post to write similar editorials about national current affairs - there's no shortage of rich subject matter that they could comment upon, and not enough adults in the room.

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