The following was delivered to the Mexico Beach city council during its Jan. 14 meeting.
Mr. Mayor and Councilmembers,
You are all a reflection on our small community. Our neighbors in Gulf County, our neighbors in Bay County and all our tourists who shop in Mexico Beach, eat in our restaurants and spend money in Mexico Beach, watch our meetings on television, read about your behavior in the papers and watch your behavior on the news. And I’m sure they are not impressed, so I stand here today with all the women and men who agree that this council, the city manager, and especially the mayor need to be reminded to treat your fellow councilmembers and your citizens with respect!
When a councilperson has a question, or a concern, a suggestion, or an idea, an opposing view or related information, they should be allowed to state that without ridicule, heavy sighs, rolling of the eyes, constant interruptions or disrespectful responses.
Children in the schoolyard follow the bully, not because they like the bully, but out of fear of being his next victim if they don’t. We need to stop acting like children.
The tone is set at the top and the council sets the tone for the rest of the town.
We’re here today in solidarity to say we’re watching you and we’re standing up for a push for decency, civility and respect in government.