It wasn’t exactly Frazier versus Ali, but Monday’s fight between Mayor Tommy Parker and City Councilman Kenton Spencer was entertaining — most public spats are.
Here were two respected, educated leaders arguing like school kids in full view of the media.
By the following day, Parker and Spencer were more circumspect and Tuesday’s meeting was full of mirth and mea culpas.
Did that mean the two had settled their differences? Probably not. And that’s a good thing. We should not want our leaders to walk lock step with one another.
Parker and Spencer are both passionate about improving Laurinburg. But they also often have differing visions of how to get there. Sometimes that means voices are raised and egos are bruised. Politics is not for the faint-hearted.
That is not to suggest the death of civility or permanent gridlock. But if and when council members disagree they should not be afraid to speak out.
Councilman Curtis Leak brings a different mindset and wealth of experience to the table. So does Councilman Drew Williamson. We would like to hear what both have to say, if even it is sometimes said in colorful language.
Our fear is that this latest episode will cause city leaders to go too far in the other direction where they are afraid to say anything of consequence.
There is a school of thought that public discourse in Scotland County should be watered down and devoid of anything objectionable. Like the Johnny Mercer song, we are told to “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.” While we all have to sell our county, let’s avoid being hucksters pushing some place that does not exist.
Scotland County has its negatives, but it has many more positives. We need to be willing to talk about either.