Sep 29, 2007

group therapy for the city council

In Ashland, Oregon, City Council members' open disagreements are more like open sores:
They curse and bicker regularly in public. They disagree on almost everything. But now they've agreed to see a counselor for a second shot at their broken relationship...

Starting next week they'll put their future collaboration in the hands of an Ashland naturopath who counsels corporations and cable news channels on conflict resolution and adapting to change.

Rick Kirschner will lead the council in the first of a five-month series of therapy sessions on Oct. 6, for which the city's taxpayers will pay Kirschner $37,000.

Kirschner has written several books about the art of persuasion and human relationships, including "Dealing With People You Can't Stand - How To Bring Out The Best In People At Their Worst."

The council's cry for help was highlighted once again Tuesday night when Councilman David Chapman told Councilman Eric Navickas to "shut your f——— mouth" during a formal discussion about council rules at a special session.

"I just lost my temper," Chapman said Wednesday. "He's lost his temper with me before. We kind of take turns."
No matter how contentious Olympia's local politics have been, we haven't reached the point where we've had to bring in a therapist.

Not yet, anyway.

[via Obscure Store, where the commentators have other suggestions]

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