Editorial: Deciding when to play nice

March 28, 2014 

Garner’s town council is trying to forge relationships with the Wake County Board of Education and the Wake County Board of Commissioners. They are going about it two very different ways.

As council member Kethy Behringer noted last week, it doesn’t seem wise to be heavy-handed with county commissioners. As the council discussed ways to convince the county commissioners to build a new regional library in Garner to replace an aging facility. Garner leaders suggested that the best way to accomplish their goal was to put together a good plan to take to commissioners.

The thinking was that a good plan will largely speak for itself and show – without a lot of arm-twisting from the Garner town council – the wisdom of doing what Garner officials were asking.

Seems reasonable enough to us.

But if we take a look at how the Garner town council has approached its dealings with another body of county elected officials, we would see a very different approach.

Council members have found themselves having to all but apologize for the negative tone of conversations they’ve had with school officials.

At a recent meeting of the town council to consider a request by the school system to approve plans for a new high school, council members were pretty aggressive with the school system folks.

We wonder, if the old adage about catching flies might not apply here. You catch more flies with honey, the saying goes, than with vinegar.

Garner council members see the wisdom of using honey with county commissioners. Now might be a good time to try a similar approach with school leadership.

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