Barrington Hills candidates sign Civility Covenant

Posted3/14/2011 12:01 AM

An e-mail has been circulating the village concerning civility during the campaign for the village board, containing a Civility Covenant that all of the candidates were asked to sign. The covenant was adapted from Jim Wallis' "Seven Steps to Civility in the Upcoming Election."

The Four Steps:


1. We commit that our dialogue with each other will reflect the spirit of fair play. We will listen to each other, not interrupt and leave anger out of the discourse.

2. We pledge that when we disagree, we do so respectfully without falsely impugning the other's motives or attacking the other's character.

3. We will be mindful of the language we use in expressing our disagreements.

4. We recognize that we cannot function together as citizens of the same community, unless we are mindful of how we treat each other in the pursuit of the common good, in the life we share together in the Village of Barrington Hills.

Candidates Steve D'Amore, Patty Meroni, Skip Gianopulos, Joe Messer, Beth Mallen, Karen Selman and Dede Wamberg have signed the covenant and we congratulate them on their pledge to wage a civil campaign. We have great admiration for all of the good people who are willing to take on the job of village trustee.

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The covenant is not meant to accuse anyone of incivility nor is it meant to address any acts of incivility that may have already occurred. It's intent is to influence the tenor of the campaign going forward. Hopefully the candidates will be able to hold their supporters to these same standards of civility.

We may not be able to eliminate incivility, but we can do better than what we have recently seen at public meetings and what we have read. Only when civil discourse takes place can voters make decisions based on the candidates' solutions to the issues that confront our village.

There is no way to enforce civility, but the voters can hold all the candidates AND their supporters to the basic standards of civility addressed in the covenant. Let's make this a robust and civil campaign going forward.

Carolyn and Bill Springer

Barrington Hills