Islanders need frank dialogue, not personal attacks | Editorial

  • Thursday, November 2, 2017 3:01pm
  • Opinion

In election times, feelings and passions run high. Mercer Island’s City Council races are no exception.

In recent days, a few passionate Mercer Island citizens have publicly disagreed with the paper’s endorsements in this election and have charged members of the Reporter’s editorial board with bias based on past political affiliations. Board members reject this charge and make their decisions independent of their past political affiliations. We evaluate candidates’ statements in our interview with them and make our decisions on the basis of these statements.

The Reporter fully upholds everyone’s freedom of speech; it’s one of the main reasons why residents serve on this community newspaper’s editorial board.

But, we do not believe that disparaging personal comments are a commendable exhibition of first amendment rights. Rather they inhibit dialogue and can fuel a showcase of anger, negativity and acrimony — behavior that does not induce, inspire or support constructive civil discourse — and ultimately undermines this community.

Personal attacks result in hardening of opinions, hurt feelings and damaged reputations. They do nothing to develop solutions to our city’s challenges. Moreover, these attacks dampen and threaten the spirit of volunteerism that is a cornerstone of the Mercer Island community. Scores of our neighbors volunteer thousands of hours on city commissions, public committees, this editorial board and, yes as elected officials (our city council members receive $200 per month for the many hours they devote) to better this community.

We urge residents to recognize that they can have honest differences with one another and with the Mercer Island Editorial Board, but we need to focus on the differences, not the persons.

Inflammatory language that impugns reputations and assails community volunteers is not indicative of citizenry who care about fellow community members.

We are committed to open and frank dialogue. We believe this is what will create better understanding and result in a strong, positive place to live.

More in Opinion

NIM tackling Mercer Way shoulder paving, biking safety and more | Neighbors in Motion

Editor’s note: This is the fifth of an occasional article written by… Continue reading

E-cigarettes try to hook another generation | On Health

E-cigarette devices mimic conventional cigarette use and help normalize smoking behaviors.

Editorial: Tariffs on newsprint a threat to newspapers

U.S. tariffs on Canadian paper have surged costs for newspapers with little benefit for U.S. mills.

A March Madness meditation | On Faith

Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos reflects on basketball, marriage and faith.

Pacifiers, thumbs and lovies: When to worry | On Health

Mercer Island-based Dr. Elizabeth Evans and Dr. Kara McCulloch share their thoughts.

Mercer Island Reporter joins forces with Eastside papers to serve you better

You may have noticed a new style in this week’s Reporter. A… Continue reading

Pro-inflammatory foods may increase colon cancer risk | My Turn

Doctor proud to support the MI Half Marathon, which raises awareness for colon cancer prevention.

How do you tackle anxiety? | YFS Advice

Cindy Goodwin explains how to help with “pressure, parental criticism and overly high expectations.”

Success of school breakfast programs will benefit all | My Turn

Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) writes about the expansion of Breakfast after the Bell.

Mercer Island’s ‘fix’ for preventing school shootings | Island Forum

MI’s superintendent, police chief and social services director discuss their collaborative efforts.

Story should include MICA’s commitment to weighing other sites | Letter

“Mercerdale Park is ‘off the table’ as a site for the ‘foreseeable’ future.”

Vast majority of Islanders support MICA | Letter

“Islanders took sides over MICA’s desire of having a building in Mercerdale Park, not MICA itself.”