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Do Mayoral Candidates Need a Civility Pledge to Keep it Clean at the Dais?

"I guess the spotlight is on this cockroach," said Mike Ceremello. All three candidates responded.

Editor's Note: Lindsey Hickman is the daughter in law of Ted Hickman, who is running for Dixon City Council in the fall 2012 election.

The three Mayoral candidates, Incumbent Jack Batchelor, Steve Alexander and Michael Ceremello, were interviewed last week at a public forum hosted by the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce. Here's one question that was asked. 

Politics in this city often result in derogatory and demeaning name calling and negativity. We have an embarrassing reputation. What would you do to bring civility back to our politics and would you be willing to sign a civility pledge?

Batchelor: "Absolutely, yes I would sign. I don't think you have to sign a pledge to be civil, I think that's something your parents teach you. I may disagree with some of the comments made by some of my fellow elected officials, however they are who are they are, and they say what they want to say. I do not do that, I will not do that. I may disagree strongly but I do not involve myself in name calling."

Alexander: "Someone told me one time, you are the kind of manager or administrator; that you derive these skills from being a good parent. I have raised two successful kids. It's embarrassing that we have these kinds of administrators. I think you have to respect yourself before you can respect others. I couldn't imagine anyone in my professional workplace handling themselves the way some people in this town do, they would be fired on the spot. You will not hear one derogatory term from me."

Ceremello: "I guess the spotlight is on this cockroach because the reference is directly toward me," Ceremello said. "This really doesn't have to do with city issues."

He then referenced an episode during a past councilmeeting and a violation of the Robert Rules of Order. 

"I don't like going that far, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do," Ceremello continued. "You have never heard me, from this podium, criticize someone. You may have heard of it in a column, I wear two hats and will continue to wear those hats when I am your next mayor."

RonM October 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
RSW. It is possible to be right and irrelevant at the same time. Effective leaders know this, and as a result, they tailor message content and delivery style accordingly. Effective leaders also treat people with respect; whereas bloviating bullies do not. If you’ve ever read Michael Ceremello’s column in that screed that litters your walkway, then you should know by now that he will not be effective as mayor of this town. As for me, I am voting for Jack Batchelor. Jack and I do not agree on all points, we aren’t even members of the same political party; however, Jack has ALWAYS treated me with respect.
RonM October 10, 2012 at 03:15 PM
It is possible to be right and irrelevant at the same time. Effective leaders know this, and as a result, they tailor message content and delivery style accordingly. Effective leaders also treat people with respect; whereas bloviating bullies do not. If you’ve ever read Michael Ceremello’s column in that screed that litters your walkway, then you should know by now that he will not be effective as mayor of this town. As for me, I am voting for Jack Batchelor. Jack and I do not agree on all points, we aren’t even members of the same political party; however, Jack has ALWAYS treated me with respect.
Jack October 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Mikey will keep the Dais as clean as he has always kept his front lawn. Good citizens understand house pride and keeping up neighborhood standards. It reflects on their moral standards, reliability and trustworthiness. Likewise, he would never say one thing up there and disrespect his fellow councilmembers in a public forum such as a (so-called) newspaper. :~)
Jim Ernest October 10, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I really don't like the two hat thing. It doesn't make sense to allow a City official to criticize and name call under one hat, and then lead our City under a different hat.
Susan Salmons October 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Who is Ceremello trying to kid. He never criticizes anyone from the podium??? That's all he does. When someone criticizes him someone else is to blame.

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