Alderman Dennis McBride represents Wauwatosa's 4th District. An attorney and graduate of Wauwatosa East High School, Ald. McBride strives to be an effective, thoughtful, and nonpartisan representative for his constituents and for his hometown.
Maybe I'm getting old, but it sure seems that people had better manners in times gone by.
My family didn't have a lot of money, but my parents always insisted that we dress appropriately for church, hold doors for people, and say "please" and "thank you." We also were taught to respect grown-ups and other people in authority. We took our hats off when we entered buildings, and we had to be polite even to people whose opinions differed from ours. I didn't always follow those rules, but if my parents found out about it, I was usually punished or severely scolded.
These were commonly accepted principles in Wauwatosa and in the greater community.
These days, people wear outlandish clothing to church and court, common courtesy hardly seems common, and a lot of folks -- even Congressmen -- seem to believe they can yell at anyone they disagree with. (Are you listening, Joe Wilson?)
On November 3rd, the Wauwatosa Common Council held its annual public hearing on the proposed City budget. This year, only three citizens stood to give input. The Mayor and members of the Common Council listened carefully and politely.
Unfortunately, one citizen who spoke was not polite. His comments strayed from the budget discussion and almost veered into personal attacks. As he stood before us, he didn't even take off his winter cap.
If that had been me and my mother were still here, I would have been grounded for a week. "Show some respect," she would have said. "You're addressing the Mayor."
We live in contentious times. In many respects, our society seems to have lost the ability to disagree politely. Some people even believe that shouting down an opponent is admirable.
In Wauwatosa, we can do better. The next time you stand to address the Mayor, please take off your cap. Speak your mind and disagree if you must, but be polite.
Show some respect. It's the grease that turns the wheel of society.