Extremism not needed

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2001

The just completed municipal elections were marked by a minor but calculated torrent of invectives related to development and other select issues. A few hot heads in our community were bent on polarizing the last election and making election of local candidates a referendum on various projects and matters of ideological, if not daily, significance.

Vitriolic editorials in the Empire fueled the discord during the just completed election with little effect - the electorate selected a slate of moderates to represent us.

The recent curiously conciliatory columns by the publisher of the Empire seemed to cap the rancor that marred the campaign and I thought a calm would descend on Juneau. Unfortunately I was wrong.

In a recent editorial column, Assembly member Dale Anderson has launched an attack on the six members of the Assembly who voted to acquire a parcel of land in the Valley in order to build a library. The land was purchased after careful study. The land was purchased from a church at a fair price. No back room deals marred this purchase.

The personal attacks and incomplete information used by Mr. Anderson in opposition to the land acquisition are a sad continuation of the nasty campaign rhetoric that has become increasingly common. It seems to me Juneau voters have consistently rejected extreme positions and extreme posturing during the last few election cycles.

Six members of the Assembly voted to acquire land for a new library in the Valley. Six member of the Assembly voted to acquire the land in the Valley based on the merits of the proposal.

Based on the election results during the last election, it's clear the public prefers decision making based on the merits instead of personality and ideology. Everyone in this community would be better served if Mr. Anderson would stick to the merits of a given proposal and not resort to attacks on individuals when debating the public's business. Is that too much to ask from our elected officials?

Joe Geldhof

Juneau



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