Letter To Editor-in-Chief Metroland Media East Ryland Coyne (June 20, 2017)
The toxicity of our local newspaper coverage regarding municipal affairs is becoming worse each passing week, as is the current political environment. This article in question is nothing more than a cut and paste job of irrelevant information that pertains more to the Integrity Commissioner than it does to the Ombudsman. The quotes, especially the deputy mayor’s, are disingenuous at best when it comes to the subject matter in question.
Sadly, and tragically, insults, rancor, demeaning comments, half quotes, miss quotes and the demonization of our mayor appear to be the current baseline of the local media coverage on most municipal matters in the newspaper. This continuous negative reporting has now gotten so bad that members of the community are increasingly lashing out at each other in public places and on social media.
While most of us would like to live in a world of civility, we must do our part to help create a culture of respect and compassion for everyone we interact with, both personally and professionally. To do this we must confront incivility with civility and not join the darkness when incivility is directed toward us. This often takes patience, respect, and a good deal of diligence.
This toxicity of incivility by the press towards elected officials must stop. Continually experiencing this cognitive fog of negativity reduces the much needed attention, information processing, and problem solving abilities of all parties involved in protecting our community, now and into the future.
Simple respect and courtesy needs to be underscored and considered expected behavior by everyone in our community, and that includes the press. We need to create a culture and climate that highlights, models, and expects civility, and where incivility by anyone is not tolerated or allowed. We all must do our part, especially the press. This is important and may be critical for the long-term health and well-being of our community.
The comments by the Town Clerk in this article do not reflect the truth regarding the authority and role of the Ombudsman, as stated in the Ombudsman Act.