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BMA fighting unacceptable

There were no tangible weapons at the most recent Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting in Jonesborough, but a disagreement between Mayor Kelly Wolfe and Alderman Jerome Fitzgerald quickly escalated, turning into a verbal altercation that sent the June 14 meeting on a tangent.
The two reached an impasse concerning certain proposed changes to the employee compensation plan. Their difference of opinion quickly erupted into a boisterous argument.
It should come as no surprise that these two public officials would disagree with one another. Their history of differing views is a matter of record.
However, it is surprising that two grown men would show such a lack of decorum while serving in an official capacity.
Both were leaning toward each other and over Alderman Mary Gearhart, who repeatedly appealed to them to calm down and move on.
Wolfe, red-faced and intense, grew louder as he exchanged words with Fitzgerald, who called Wolfe “a liar” several times.
The two ranted at one another for more than 10 minutes.
The public in attendance seemed stunned at first. Their shock was evident in the gasps and ‘tsk-tsks’ as Wolfe and Fitzgerald continued their antics.
When the verbal brawl finally ceased, Fitzgerald refused to vote on subsequent budget motions by the board. Visibly irritated, Fitzgerald leaned back in his chair and answered “pass” as each motion was presented for a vote.
Wolfe, on the other hand, was openly satisfied as motions passed without Fitzgerald’s vote. “Three yeses, and a pass,” he said. “That motion still passes.”
In retrospect, we would think that this type of childish behavior should be embarrassing to both Wolfe and Fitzgerald. Even more important, however, is the shadow this casts on the Town of Jonesborough.
When someone asks to be set apart, supported and elected by his peers to represent his or her community, there should be some willingness to put the town’s best interest first and one’s ego on the back burner.
We don’t think it’s too much to ask that our representatives conduct themselves with some semblance of self-control and dignity that is befitting the offices they hold.