LETTER: West St Paul: Be respectful even if you don’t agree

To the Editor:

 

We need to elect officials who listen to citizens, even when they disagree with them. Citizens should be able to express disagreement with council members without being shut down, shut out or having tires vandalized. One of my council members a mayoral candidate — doesn’t return emails asking for more information on his ideas.

Our elected officials need to treat citizens with respect. I’ve heard one current candidate and former council member make derogatory remarks about people. That is not respectful. Interrupting women is not respectful.

Elected officials have an obligation to make discourse civil, even when people hold differing viewpoints. Mayor Halverson, a fantastic role model, has been able to do this, even under trying circumstances.

We need true leadership on the council, leadership such as shown by Mayor Halverson. She has kept her composure under very trying circumstances. Wendy Berry, a candidate in Ward 3, has shown leadership by organizing events that empower women, such as a tire-changing clinic. Dave Napier is passionate about coaching and empowering others. John Justen patiently listens to citizens from other wards, noting their concerns, discussing (not dictating) possible solutions.

We have an opportunity to change the incivility and bullying. Join me in supporting candidates who actually listen to constituents. They may not always vote the way we want them to, but they are respectful of the citizens they are elected to represent.

 

Carol A. Keyes-Ferrer

West St. Paul

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