Aim for civility in letters, talk

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We are in the thick of a pre-election surge of letters to the editor and guest columns. Submissions from our readers are appreciated and welcome. The pages of the newspaper are more interesting with different viewpoints and opinions from a variety of writers like you. Opinion pages are exactly that: opinions on topics ranging from city budgets to the qualifications a political candidate offers.

We remind guest writers to err on the side of caution when penning their thoughts to paper. Sticking to the issues — and perhaps what skills set a candidate apart from the pack — are a good course of action. Personal attacks, while perhaps emotionally satisfying, distract from the issues that are important to all of us. Remember that someone has to be the adult and set a good example for the next generation.

Voting records of incumbents are also good topics for letters. We all want to know how incumbents performed on the job. How council members voted can be found online, at www.cityofml.com/AgendaCenter. It will take some wading through council meeting minutes, but the information is there. We encourage you to review the information and do your homework before voting in the Aug. 1 primary election, writing a letter to the editor or commenting online.

Letters and columns that unite us can have a powerful impact on pre-election discourse. What issues are important to residents of Moses Lake? How do we strike the right balance between creating a progressive city and being frugal and responsible with taxpayer dollars? Who is the most qualified to lead? We believe the answers can be found in a respectful and even-handed look at the issues and candidates. A letter that focuses on candidates' track records and how their efforts impacted the city is welcome. Did candidates (or supporters) offer thoughtful, well-researched comments or angry rhetoric filled with half-truths?

We ask you to strive for civility during this pre-election season. Doing so keeps the focus on the issues, makes for a smoother process, and promotes a post-election period that's less bitter.

— Editorial Board

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