Open Exchange Means Good Ideas

Regarding the story on Fullerton City Council meetings (“Fullerton Council Told to Clean Up Its Meetings,” June 20), The Times must recognize that democracy is not always neat and pretty. Elected bodies meet to air differences, not enforce conformity.

Since 1993, our council has increased opportunities for public comments, begun televising meetings, been subject to a recall election and seen the addition of fresh, new, articulate members.

All this has combined to make our meetings livelier, and sometimes civility has been strained. Like mayors before me, I often reiterate that discussions must always focus on policies, not personalities.

But out of this stew has come a full discussion of issues and a free exchange of ideas. No one--on the council or off--ever goes away feeling their views were ignored.