Would it be OK with everyone to allow Augusta City Councilor Michael Byron and past City Councilor Mary Mayo-Wescott a chance to reverse their position on allowing the school board to use council chambers for their meetings?

The Board of Education, which currently meets in the high school cafeteria, wants to make similar use of the modern video technology used for broadcasting Augusta City Council meetings to the public.

Apparently, for some, this is an unthinkable request. Byron says he has no problem with the school board using the council chamber, “just as long as they don’t sit in our chairs.” Yep, he really said that. Council history and tradition hold prominence here, he explained.

Mayo-Wescott’s urgings to resist the school board’s use of council chambers are based on a higher platitude. Apparently because so many citizens with high ideals have served there, she says the council chambers are actually “sacred.”

What’s traditional isn’t always right, and what’s sacred isn’t always good. Our traditions have included bigotry, electing white presidents and not allowing women to vote. Likewise, the front of the bus and male-only country clubs were considered sacred not so long ago.

I don’t think Byron and Mayo-Wescott actually would be pleased if we decided who gets to sit in the big chairs based on how “important” they are.

Make us choose between the group that decides on signage, gravel pits and zoning, and the group that decides on issues that profoundly affect our children’s education, and starting Thursday the council would be in the cafeteria.

Council chambers don’t distinguish a person. What they stand for does. Please get it right. Our kids are watching.

Brian Heath

Hallowell


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.