Tallahassee's Village Square community forum launched its 13th year of programs the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 27. The new season will focus on matters of local interest.
Village Square Board Member Bill Mattox said the whole idea of the forum is to keep the discussion civil, even when viewpoints differ.
"Even if there is no common ground there often at least can be mutual respect that is gained from respectful dialogue and debate," he noted.
Village Square founder Liz Joyner said the first Dinner at the Square event will have a close-to-home topic.
"Our first program on October 1st is 'Local Patriotism,'" she explained. "It's essentially about loving our country by loving our community and our neighbors."
Joyner said the subsequent evenings would focus on the contribution of local news media to the concept of home-grown patriotism and the last program of the season in April would highlight those in the area who have personally exemplified the concept in the community. That resonated with the Florida League of Cities' Mike Sittig who noted local government leaders are far less partisan than their state and national counterparts.
"They don't even talk about their party affiliation. They're talking about some problem that they're trying to solve."
Sittig went on to paraphrase Chicago's Mayor Dailey, who once asserted that fixing potholes is neither a Republican nor Democratic activity.