NFL and Bridge City Council get it right

Published 8:11 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

By Bobby Tingle


Bridge City Mayor David Rutledge and the City Council got it right this week.

According to Rutledge, a proposed policy change will result in designating an advocate to handle citizen requests for action by the city.

The advocate would determine if the citizen’s request should be placed on the council’s agenda for the next meeting. Or, the advocate may simply fulfill the citizen’s request.

In either case, the citizen is heard and, you would assume, will be privy to the outcome or result of their request.

If Rutledge is correct and the council adopts the change, then the council should be commended.

According to Larry Holt’s report published at Thursday, May 24, and in this edition of The Orange Leader, the Bridge City Council held a workshop this week, which resulted in the proposed change. Specifically the council looked at how best to handle requests by citizens to place an item on their meeting agenda.

The current policy outlines the steps in a straightforward fashion. Submit your request in writing by the deadline to the City Secretary.

The council, if received in writing and in a timely manner, then takes up the citizen’s request, in their next meeting.

The proposed policy change, as reported, improves the policy by requiring a councilperson take responsibility for the citizen’s request.

Citizen’s concerns should take priority and should garner the attention of elected city officials.

The interaction of elected city officials and the citizens they were elected to serve is the baseline where accountability of the tax leviers to the taxpayers begins.

To put it another way, if a citizen pays property tax, sales tax and privilege fees then those who levied the tax and spend the receipts should be responsive to the former.

Council members comments during the workshop seem to support the council got it right. Council members Carl Harbert, Lucy Fields, Tammi Fisette and Kirk Roccaforte expressed the need for effective communication between the city and its citizens. They also seemed to agree good judgment should be used in determining the best course for addressing concerns brought to them by citizens.

Bridge City citizens should see the council’s actions in a positive light and express their gratitude for this response.

Citizens should also realize the natural limitations imposed by finite resources. Sometimes there is just not enough time or money to address every concern, need or want.

The National Football League (NFL) got it right also. The NFL is a political organization organized to allow men to carry and throw a ball around on a field while they chase each other and knock each other down. It is not clear what feet or politics have to do with it. But they make a lot of money doing it even if they are confused about what they are doing.

But the NFL is like the Bridge City Council. They listened and responded. No longer will the fastest, tallest, biggest and meanest among us be allowed to kneel on a field while the national anthem is played before the game of the week without being assessed a stiff financial penalty.

I bet the players are shivering in their shorts.

The Bridge City Council’s action this week is important and relevant. They are worthy of your gratitude. The NFL should stick to football.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at