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Fact or Emotion

I was presented with a very compelling argument concerning my recent decision on the Beaumont City Council by a man that I respect very much. The argument is that I voted on a very controversial issue by my emotion, and not on fact. He may be correct, or he doesn't understand my belief of my duties. Regardless, the argument does pose some very interesting discussion. First, if anyone makes a decision whether it is based on fact or emotion, is it wrong? Second, if a person is a juror in a trial, is it wrong if they vote by emotion or fact? Now in my particular situation, my respected friend was referring to my decision as a council member of voting to deny the adoption of the Property Maintenance code on February 7. To be perfectly honest, I had very mixed feelings about this proposed ordinance. In the end, I moved to deny the adoption of this code. I based my decision on the over 50 people that contacted me urging to vote no. Incidentally, no citizen urged me to vote yes. I based my decision as a representative of the people. Was I wrong? I would appreciate your comments. 

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Jeremiah February 19, 2014 at 09:23 PM
You were exactly right to do so. 50-0 is pretty representative of people's wishes. I wish that others on the council would be as willing to vote the way their constituents ask them to rather than how they personally view a situation. When you accept public office you are supposed to be a mouthpiece and agent of the people who elected you. Thank you for doing that, Mr. Castaldo. May the others learn from your example! **** jeremiah
beaumontdave February 19, 2014 at 11:13 PM
Your asked to represent the will of your constituents and use your best judgment. Since the input you received was against the code being adopted, I would say you followed the will of those voters who chose to express an opinion, regardless of whether you were following your emotions over logic.
beaumontdave February 19, 2014 at 11:20 PM
As a rule, I prefer logic to emotional choices, but reason has it's limits and lots of "angles of approach", and some lines of reasoning may be buried in a "feeling", so I don't discount emotions out-of-hand.
pat February 20, 2014 at 09:45 AM
A most proper move by a councilman who listens to his townsfolk , and in this particular case well warranted . Now if only you could teach a couple others on the council how to do the same .
Steve Mehlman February 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM
While there are times when public officials should lead, not follow, the bottom line is that you represent your constituents. And of course you should take the fact that more than 50 constituents contacted you on the code into consideration. You did the right thing on the code. And you are doing the same thing--the right thing--in leading the opposition to the Gateway warehouse.
Diego Rose February 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM
It appears that you have a realistic grasp of the role in which you fill.....An elected representative.

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