Elected Officials Please Don’t Spread False Information
While I know most elected officials try to get it right, when they don’t, and you know they don’t, it calls into question all of the decisions they make. The most recent example was this morning on KPCW. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher was interviewing Park City council members about yesterday’s city council meeting on Round Valley as an off-leash dog area. The topic of electronic collars came up and one of the city councilors said that there was a concern that the collars were too expensive to require everyone to have one. A council person then said they cost $150 on Amazon and $250 in local stores.
That shocked me, since I bought mine on Amazon for under $40 and it works great. Don’t believe me, here is a search for electronic collars on Amazon. Ninety percent of these collars are under $70. One with 4.5 stars out of 5 stars, with 370 reviews is only $25. Now, whether everyone should be required to have one is a completely different argument or whether $25 is too much money is another… but please don’t spread bad information about these collars costing hundreds of dollars.
It’s the same sort of issue I have seen in school board meetings where members will talk about the “bad” water at Treasure Mountain, with one of the school board members saying on the public record that she won’t let her kid drink the water there. Is the water pristine, like drinking filtered Perrier, probably not… Is the water toxic per EPA standards? No. Another comment was made about the toxic soil in the air ducts at Treasure Mountain. Has some dust/dirt spread into the vents coming from outside the building (where some of that dirt may contain lead)? Yes. However, first I still ask the question is that lead bio-available (meaning, is it actually harmful to humans). Second, does any of the air coming out of the ducts hundreds of feet away (you know, where it is actually breathed in) have any lead in it and has that been tested? No. If it was, and it was dangerous, the school would be shut down.
If it’s not a real problem, don’t say it.
Our elected officials need to be held to a higher standard. For the most part, when they talk, we listen. However, when they talk, and WE KNOW THEY AREN’T RIGHT, it strains their credibility. The natural progression of that is to ignore what they say because if they are wrong on A, B, and C… they are probably wrong on D, too. That’s not a good place for anyone to be. The School Bond process showed us what happens when trust and credibility is lost, and I don’t think anyone really liked how that worked out.
It boils down to what children learn in elementary school and at home: tell the truth. It’s simple. If you don’t know the facts based on actual data, say it: “I don’t know, but I will find out for you.” Then follow up. There is great merit in that simple statement. Creating and stating false information without also stating that you don’t know if it is true is called lying. Lying creates mistrust. We all know the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf.’
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