Bell: Breckenridge needs more civility, focus in public discussions
December 4, 2013
Readers of this section are quite aware of the recent contentious debates over issues that are shaping Breckenridge today. The debate over the subsidization of day care has largely taken the opposing positions of one side arguing that society needs to help the parent on a critical need in order to remain in the community while the other side argues against the unfairness of paying someone else's bills. The day care debate on the blog http://www.engagebreckenridge.com had almost no mention of those who should benefit from this program the most, the actual kids themselves.
Misinformation, lack of information, misleading or irrelevant data, and personal attacks have become the norm in getting our personal agendas done in today's political age. Ideological divides have grown insurmountable on the national stage and a lack of tolerance for others views handicap progress locally. When local business owner Dick Carleton recently spoke his views regarding this issue, he was lambasted by a gentleman who portrayed Dick as motivated by greed, apparently being unaware of Dick's long track record of extreme generosity to the community. Recent editorials regarding Breckenridge Town Council's unilateral decision, post 2b election loss, can be depicted as less than kind.
The road to a common good is lined with distractions. Breckenridge is in need of citizens to hold their leaders accountable to the values of democracy, fairness, pragmatism, and fiduciary responsibility, meanwhile holding themselves to high standards of civility. Investment in people as well as things, with a strong skew to the next generation, should be a vital component of our vision of success. Next year's completion of the new library could provide a terrific opportunity to form a strong partnership with our underfunded public schools. Better solutions to helping our kids could await.
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