Homer Council reaffirms 'civility' as core value
The Homer City Council at its meeting last night unanimously passed a resolution promoting the city’s commitment to civility.
Though unread during the council meeting, the resolution ends with, “Now therefore be it resolved that the City of Homer shall promote civility by listening respectfully to people who have different views, avoiding language or actions that are insulting or derogatory to others, and supporting efforts to work together across ideological and political lines.”
Councilmember Rachel Lord was a co-sponsor with Counclmember Heath Smith.
“I said this to a number of people who have kind of expressed concerns about the community and division and the nation and all these things. And I've said, you know, I feel like the relationship that I feel like Heath and I have is the way forward. It's very clear, I do not agree with a lot of Heath's positions, Councilmember Smith's positions on various issues. And it's very clear that he thinks I'm out to lunch on a number of things. Quite a few,” Lord said. “But we have a mutual respect. And I believe fully that I know that he is sitting at this table with with a commitment to this community and doing the best that he thinks for this community, and that is his ultimate motivation.”
Smith said it was important to be able to collaborate, and not see it as compromising principles.
“I mean, I was talking with some friends of mine and they're conservative, and I have people that I know that are on both sides. I mean, I have a brother and sister that are very liberal. My father is liberal and then I have another sister and I that are very conservative. And you know, it always occurred to me that it's far better to collaborate your way through life and not have to look at it as compromising any specific ideal that you might have. Because the reality of it is, is that we're not going to get rid of what differences may exist between us and any given neighbors,” Smith said. “So the idea that we can kind of freely exchange our views without it becoming an emotional meltdown or anything else that is akin to that is, I think, of greater value. Because when we move to these extremes of the spectrum, it becomes very difficult to bring anyone closer together. All it does is create a much greater divide.”
Councilmembers Donna Aderhold and Joey Evensen both praised the resolution.
“I love this resolution. And I'm so happy that you guys brought it forward. I actually think for right now, we all need to print it and put it on the wall in front of us so that we see it when we're having discussion amongst us,” Aderhold said. “And I also think that it needs to be printed and put in council chambers so that everybody who comes in is reminded, even though they can yell at us if they want to, when they come up and testify on something, that being civil gets a lot more done.”
“I really like the idea about putting this up in city hall. For what it's worth Mr. Manager, I think that's a great idea. And in a few places,” Evensen said. “I also kind of like the idea about printing it in the newspaper, showing (the public) one of the examples of something that was recently passed.”
After the brief discussion, the resolution passed with unanimous approval.