Friday, August 04, 2006

All politics being local...

I don't pay enough attention to what is going on in my own community, but every now and then I am reminded that you don't have to wander very far to bump into the "attack mode ink slingers" who believe that a difference of opinion is just below treason. Last-Word-Lary displays his nimble wordsmithing abilities here:

The Last Word by Lary Coppola

My thoughts regarding Lary Coppola vs. Charlotte Garrido

People become leaders in their communities for a variety of reasons, which tend to be agenda driven. They don’t like the way things are presently being done, and feel they could do better… or they see their participation in community politics as an opportunity to create advantages for themselves, usually in the business world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Displaying your skills as a strong, ethical, and caring leader should bring people to your doorstep whatever business you are in.

I have a lot of respect for a strong personality who leads by example, delves into all aspects and both sides of any given issue, and is willing to make decisions based on the higher good of the entire community. I have little respect for a strong personality who leads by throwing out random innuendos to muddy an issue and slight an individual without backing the innuendos up with indisputable facts.

Lary Coppola swings a heavy hammer with his opinion column in the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal (where he also serves as Editor and Publisher), and has the ability to praise or ridicule projects, events, and other community members as his personal agenda dictates. Recently (August 2006 issue of the Journal), he was opining about the South Kitsap Community Park situation, and he offered some praise regarding newest board member Steve Horn’s acting as a moderate, common sense, voice of reason (no clarification on why he thinks this), and then he jumps out with:
“But it’s become obvious that this isn’t about the park for the majority of the board. It’s all about control, and partisan politics. Don’t think so? Why did former Park Board Chair Charlotte Garrido, who was unseated as County Commissioner by Angel and who didn’t run for re-election to the board after a single, chaotic term, still control the district’s Web site and the flow of email between board members until just recently?”

Now, I have to admit that I don’t know very much about the park controversy, but I do know a sleazy cheap shot when I see one written, and Mr. Coppola has definitely swung his heavy hammer at “former Park Board Chair Charlotte Garrido”. There was a time not so long ago when I might have glanced over this article, formed a partial impression about what is probably going on with the park, and moved on. Unfortunately, and to my bitter distaste, the media landscape is covered with this kind of writing, which is misleading, incomplete, and the sign of a bully with a long stick whacking at someone from a very safe distance.

Hey Lary…

How about validating your opinion with reason, if not fact, Mr. Coppola? Why do you feel that Steve Horn is moderate, acting with common sense, and the voice of reason? More importantly, why do you state that it has become obvious that this is about control and partisan politics, and then use as your proof some inane question about Garrido controlling a Website and the flow of email between board members? What is obvious in my mind is that you have an aversion to laying things out in an orderly, concise manner with the facts intact, which can only mean that you are trying to create an unrealistic description of a situation, and you don’t want it ruined with factual debate.

If I am totally off base with my thinking, please revisit this issue in your next opinion column explaining the reasoning behind your comments. I don’t know Charlotte Garrido personally, but she showed up at my house one day and spent two hours soliciting my thoughts about the future of the park, and explaining what the board at that time was attempting to accomplish. I was very impressed with her obvious concern about the community, and I would hope that she will continue to be involved in any community project. She has people skills that tell me she is a natural leader. If you have an issue with this person, lay it out in a way that doesn’t sound like you are trying to gossip her down to your level. She might like to respond.


(Name Removed)
Port Orchard, Washington

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