It’s seldom easy, but a little compromise can exhilarate | In Our Opinion | July 30

It’s always good to see when adults, especially public officials with high profiles in a small town, can put aside their differences over a specific issue and reach an agreement for the good of all concerned. We had one of those moments this week.

Councilors Bill Knobloch and Barry Peters had a difference of opinion involving the makeup of the city’s Utility Advisory Committee. The terms of two of the seven members on the committee had expired; Knobloch and Peters, who are serving as dueling ex-officio council members for the UAC, agreed on re-appointing one of the members, but not the other.

Peters wanted a new member, a person with a sewer utility background. Knobloch was happy with the old one, whose experience leans more toward the water utility. Neither wanted to budge, so last week they asked Mayor Bob Scales to break the stalemate. He chose the new man.

At a UAC meeting earlier this week, Knobloch claimed that politics were being unduly played and offered his opinion why the sitting member should be reappointed; Peters denied the charge and explained his reasoning. While perhaps the committee as a whole should have much to say about its composition, no one seemed to have an answer to the dilemma. The nominated new member was in attendance and felt so uncomfortable with the discussion that he got up and left.

A flurry of emails about the event flew through the cybernetic air the next morning. Fortunately, Peters and Knobloch decided they should discuss the issue in an effort to take a positive approach to something that could be resolved.

Sure enough, while they still weren’t in the mood to alter their individual stances, it eventually occurred that maybe having the council officially agree to the UAC having eight commissioners (and no more than nine) instead of seven would be good for all – a real compromise. It’s not quite official yet, mind you, since a small detail or two needs to be ironed out. But soon.

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