During the last 2 Shasta County Board meetings, the Board Chair stopped the meeting and asked everyone to leave because the meetings got so out of control. Some of the comments shared by the public have been so angry, so destructive, and so aggressive, it’s appalling. The supervisors themselves continue to model bitter and vengeful behavior toward each other.
This needs to stop as quickly as possible.
While those involved may feel that they are standing up for what is right or scoring political points, the end does not justify the means. We are tearing up the social fabric that makes Shasta County a great place to live.
Ultimately, the responsibility for setting the culture of these meetings lies with the supervisors and in particular, the Board Chair. Here’s what I would be doing differently if I were the Board Chair:
The need for leadership to foster a different culture doesn’t excuse all of us from playing a role in shifting the culture of the Board chambers and our community.
Here are 10 principles that I believe could shift the culture of Board meetings and our community if we could begin to practice them voluntarily. They are not rocket science, but they are increasingly uncommon.
- Stop attacking and insulting people
- Stop using obscene language
- Stop using a mocking, condescending tone
- Stop trying to score political points
- Stop sitting with people you agree with
- Start highlighting real, everyday-life problems
- Start proposing solutions for county issues
- Start asking tough questions with an honest interest in learning
- Start complimenting those in other political tribes when they do something good
- Start calling out those in your political tribe when they do something inappropriate
While I’m running to shift the culture of the Board, let’s not wait until we can get new leadership. Let’s all start today as we interact with other people in person and online!