Resolutions and proclamations made by governmental bodies usually are all about feel-good things. The don't carry anymore weight than the paper they're printed on, but they show what the council or commission wants to say or honor. In Avon Park the content of a recent resolution stated what the city believes and criticized anyone claiming otherwise. It was an unnecessary action.
Last week the Avon Park City Council passed a resolution stating the council's and city manager's support for the Avon Park Fire Department. This was done to dispel rumors that the city secretly wants to get rid of the fire department and make it a volunteer force. That's well and good.
Where the resolution veered off course is when it criticized local radio host Barry Foster and the city's union Vice President Sally Perry for stating that, in their opinion, the city wants to dump the fire department and make it a volunteer fire department.
The point isn't whether Foster's or Perry's or anyone else's opinions are incorrect in the city leaders' minds, but whether they have every right to state their opinion. Of course they do.
Foster's radio show is filled with opinions that some people agree with and others do not. The same goes for editorial pages in this newspaper and others. Having that freedom was so important to our founding fathers that it's written into the U.S. Constitution. It's our most cherished right.
No doubt it's irritating to hear someone misrepresent something that you believe. When accused of thinking one way and others are saying that's not true, well, it makes a person's skin crawl. It's only human to be annoyed. But should a city council pass a resolution specifically calling out that particular incident? We don't think so.
Tempers are running too hot in Avon Park and have for too long. Someone needs to apply the brakes. Opinions always will vary, and sometimes they are incorrect. We have the right to free speech and we also have the right to be wrong from time to time. A resolution to shame someone for doing it is unnecessary and petty.