The Independent Newsmedia titles the opinion section on the company’s website, “Opinions with Civility,” and has a checklist of ways readers’ letters can and should be civil.
Yet, virtually every week, there is a letter attacking me and my character. One recent example is a letter claiming I am “jousting with imaginary issues.” At no point in the letter does the author ever provide even one counter argument to the issues and concerns I have raised as a member of Fountain Hills Town Council. Instead, the letter is nothing but personal attacks against me.
I come from the rough and tumble world of Illinois politics. I know what it is like to face character assassinations and I have come to accept this unseemly aspect of politics as just part of the job. But having said that, I would challenge Independent Newsmedia to do a better job of enforcing its own policies and procedures. There is nothing wrong with having a disagreement on the issues, but endless personal attacks accomplish nothing.
As an elected official, I welcome a robust debate on the issues facing our community. Let’s have a debate about whether it is a good idea to raise taxes to pay for the school bond at a time when interest rates are skyrocketing, and the cost of construction is at all-time highs. Let’s have a debate about the town budget, or any other issue impacting Fountain Hills for that matter. But let’s not stoop to personal attacks. The Independent News Media should elevate the conversation instead of stooping to gutter politics.
Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.