Letter to the editor in response to the article quoting Charlotte Laws...
neighborhood councils have been criticized for mudslinging and infighting at
meetings. But democracy is messy. Conflicts often represent a sincere effort to
communicate with each other and build a foundation for the future.
dispute resolution commissions in every planning area to arbitrate neighborhood
council related disputes, however, would reduce the time the Department of
Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and the City Attorney spend sorting out
conflicts. The commissions would provide an impartial body to hear complaints,
so that valuable neighborhood council meeting time could be reserved for
important issues, rather than personality disputes.
have attended meetings for over 50 neighborhood councils over the past two years
and can report that the system is a success. The councils are improving their
communities and empowering stakeholders. They should not be faulted for getting
a little muddy in the process. We must be patient while the neighborhood
councils get their houses in order.