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Letter: Willmar needs a Civility Pledge

The West Central Tribune is doing a great service to our community by shining a light on our City Council's performance. I have a few thoughts to add about this very issue.

A few years ago, after the City Council meeting when several council members walked out of a meeting to prevent a vote about Westwind, a group of citizens asked the council to adopt a pledge of civility to: Pay Attention, Listen, Be Inclusive, Not to Gossip, Show Respect, Be Agreeable, Apologize, Give Constructive Criticism, Take Responsibility.

Their response was that they are already civil so the pledge is not needed.

I don't think calling a citizen, evil, is "showing respect", or "being agreeable.

I don't think it's "paying attention" or "giving constructive criticism" when downtown volunteers are chastised for not buying and planting flowers. The reason the flowers weren't planted was the city announced they would no longer water the flowers as they had done for several years.

I don't think it's "being inclusive" when a councilman complains in an Economic Development Committee meeting that some of the cultures in Willmar don't have clean food vendors.

My "Constructive Criticism" to the City Council would be to give the Civility Pledge a try. The citizens of Willmar and the city's employees deserve to be listened to and respected. Being respectful goes a long way.

Gary Geiger