September 6, 2013
Garland’s Board of Commissioners needs to settle down and get along, and above all, they should work together to serve the best interest of the town and its citizens.
Given the attitude at recent board meetings, that doesn’t seem to be what is happening. But all that can change if personal agendas and back-door politics are set aside for the greater good.
That doesn’t mean commissioners should rubber stamp every action, but it does mean they need to leave personal feelings at home and deal with the issues at hand. That’s what they were elected to do, and that’s exactly what citizens should expect from each and every board member and the town’s mayor.
The latest issue to spark controversy is the curtailing of the Garland Rotary Fair and Parade, a fixture in the town for more than 30 years.
With the unfortunate demise of the Garland Rotary Club, whose charter was recently revoked, came the sad news that the annual event would have to exit with the club, or at least the annual event carrying the Rotary title would.
That news brought with it division, with Cynthia Murphy and a group of local residents looking to ensure some type of event would be held on the first Saturday in October and another group, headed by Pearl Smith, thinking they could simply breath new life into a Rotary Club and, thus, have the fair.
Murphy’s group was hoping to have a Community Day to replace the Rotary Fair, a move they thought would at least provide activity in the town as many residents have come to enjoy and expect. Smith’s group, it appears, worked behind the scenes to pull together 26 people to comprise a new Rotary Club, a move that can’t happen as quickly as they once thought.
That’s Rotary rules, not town rules. And, in fact, the Rotary Club should in no way be associated with the town or any political maneuvering that might go on between commissioners. The Rotary Club is a civic organization that does tremendous good both locally and internationally, and its members follow the “service above self” mantra that has made clubs across the world strong for years. It should not get caught up in the cross hairs of town shenanigans.
Simply because Smith and her group formed doesn’t mean they can immediately get their charter back, and that means they cannot move forward with a fair using Rotary’s title.
It doesn’t mean, however, that another Rotary can’t happen in Garland; it just means there is a process and that potential members must follow that process through.
And it doesn’t mean an event much like the annual fair and parade can’t go on. Perhaps it can as the desired Community Day discussed last week by Murphy and a group of Garland residents.
The town’s commissioners would do well to take another look at the proposal and give their backing to it … for their citizens.
That will take setting those personal thoughts and feelings aside and doing what’s best for Garland and her residents. We believe each and every member of the town board can do that. We hope they find it in their heart to do so.