What is it about small-town politics that can stir coffee shop conversation, but stop people from speaking to each other?
Attend a city council meeting and you might think a referee is needed. At some meetings, elected officials as well as members of the public appear to be auditioning for a reality show. Infighting, heated accusations, players being ousted. Sounds like a television reality show; however, it's just the stuff of small-town politics.
Rather than having legal council at city council meetings, maybe they should have a medical professional to pass around blood pressure medication.
Personality clashes aren't confined to small-town government. They are found everywhere: associations, churches, country clubs, county, state and federal governments.
City council sessions might even be downright boring if it weren't for those super-sized egos.
Simmering disputes seem to boil over more frequently in small towns when elected officials are uncertain where their authority starts and ends.
And if you're an outsider - meaning you haven't lived there for at least 30 years - look out.
It may be that small-town tussles are so frequent because every decision is so visible and its impact so immediate. And this you can be certain of: Somebody won't like it.
In small towns there isn't a political class that lives apart or can be apart. They live with everybody and everybody sees them.