I hope residents who did not attend the Sept. 8 City Council meeting will take a look when it is shown on local television and assess the interactions.
Judge for yourself whether you see an "oppositional dynamic" pitting the council against the administration, or a "healthy discussion."
The former was Councilman Cory Storch's reaction after Councilman William Reid's prolonged baiting of Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. The latter was Council President Bridget Rivers' view of the interaction.
The dichotomy points up the need for some kind of common ground, whether it comes through the retreat that is supposedly in the works or just by working on showing a little more civility at the meetings.
Oldtimers might say civility is too much to expect in the weeks before the Nov. 4 general election, and one can be assured there will be the usual inflammatory fliers in the mailbox soon. But that is between the candidate and the voter. The spectacle in the courtroom and on television can be seen by all, including those who might want to invest in the city but don't want to face political landmines along the way.
Plainfield has a reputation as a tough place in which to do business. Videos like the one coming out of this meeting may only confirm it.