“It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” — Frank Burns
A friend asked me the other day why I don’t write “positive” or “nice” editorials about council. The mayor and councillors are doing some good things, he said. Why not write about those?
For the record, I have written some back-patting columns in the past. In the Queens County Citizen, I highlighted worthwhile initiatives by Region of Queens council. I also pointed out noteworthy efforts by individual councillors who went above and beyond to make a difference.
That being said, echo chambers and mutual admiration societies do not serve the public interest. They may give everyone a warm, fuzzy feeling on social media, but more often than not they stifle meaningful discussion. And that’s something we desperately need around here.
What’s more, Region of Queens Municipality is forever pumping its own tires with a steady stream of propaganda worthy of George Orwell’s 1984. (Everything is doubleplusgood, folks.) The region doesn’t need more cheerleaders; it needs more critics who are willing to call out its missteps.
Nevertheless, in an effort to appease my friend, I’ve decided to say one nice thing about each and every member of council. Hopefully these positive comments will soothe any hurt feelings caused by previous dispatches I’ve published.
Mayor Dagley never lets a good idea get in the way of proper procedure.
Deputy Mayor MacLeod has her eyes firmly on the future — her future, in the mayor’s chair.
Councillor Muise helps reduce the length of council meetings by rarely speaking.
Councillor Kelly does not make a big deal of the fact she lives outside the electoral district she represents.
Councillor Fralic would gladly attend the opening of an envelope.
Councillor Fancy is very good at hiding his contempt for some of his council colleagues.
Councillor Fiske has proven to be a top-knotch seat-filler.
Councillor Johnson does not let his council obligations interfere with his other work.
There you have it, dear reader — one heartfelt compliment per elected official.
Please don’t forget these gently presented laurels next time I throw a verbal dart at council.