Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Is civility or confrontation the answer?

Dave Scott, BJ regional issues reporter and deputy Business editor before he joined Jim Carney, Jewell Cardwell, Olga Reswow, Laura Ofobike and Bill Lilley in the April 2014 buyouts exodus, takes issue with BJ editorial page editor Michael Douglas, “a man for whom I have tremendous respect, (who) wrote this clinker of an editorial column” suggesting that Akron mayoral candidates may be too civil.

That hit a nerve with Dave -- who shared with Doug Livingston the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Awards for their series on black, poor children hit by cars.
Dave responded on his blog, “Better Outcomes: Repairing the World One Word at a Time.”

He wrote:

“Many of you know that I spent much of my last two years at the Beacon Journal writing about civility as part of the Akron Beacon Journal’s America Today project. Those stories helped the paper win the Ohio Associated Press’s Public Service Award.

“Some people, apparently including Mike, thought of civility as some kind of limp-wristed approach to public issues.”

In the wake of Don Plusquellic’s long, successful and combative reign as mayor, Mike commented on the debate by the candidates to succeed Plusquellic.

Mike’s stance is:

The problem for Akron isn’t a lack of civility. Rather, we risk being too civil, of failing to confront directly the challenges the city faces.

"That isn’t a call for banging heads with pots and pans. The point is, confrontation plays an indispensable role in making good decisions.”

So, what do you think? Should Akron mayoral candidates, and candidates at national and state levels, be more civil or more confrontational?

On Saturday, Sept. 5 the BJ ran Dave Scott's letter to the editor.

Email John Olesky at jo4wvu@neo.rr.com if you want to weigh in on this discussion.

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