GLEN ROCK, NJ - Glen Rock council members and its mayor are asking for more civility in discussions about any number of topics before the governing body.
At the April 10 Council meeting, officials asked the public to think about how they get their point across, no matter which side of the argument they fall on.
The conversation came up during the public hearing for pool ordinance fees in which the mayor and council members mentioned discourse that happened in emails directed at the council.
Mayor Bruce Packer said there were "lots of four-letter words" in the emails addressed to the council.
"Once I read that, I don't care what you have to say," he said.
Councilman Mike O'Hagan said some of the emails were "incredibly inappropriate."
"Think about what you say before you press send," he said. "Use the 24-hour rule. Wait before you send it."
Council President Kristine Morieko agreed. "This council is responsive but there needs to be a level of respect. If we're offering you respect, I think it's fair we can expect the same from you."
In a separate discussion about the single-use plastic bag ban the same evening, resident Alan Bronner said he wanted to see more plastic banned.
"My wife wants to slap me when I say this, but what about diapers, we should go to cloth diapers," he said.
He preferenced the remark by noticing it was "young ladies" who were in favor of the plastic bag ban. He said they may one day have children and they need to think about diapers.
Becca Coll, a mother of a 15-year-old young woman who was in attendance, said her daughter looked at her when Bronner made the comment. She called the comment "hurtful for girls" maintaining it wrongfully assigns a role to women.
She suggested those on the Council should "flag" such comments and call them "discriminatory," but not necessarily engage with the individuals making the comments.
Bronner said he was only pointing out that plastics are plastics and they should all be considered for the ban.
"It so happens there were a number of young ladies here," Bronner said. "Is there a connotation that they will be mothers. Maybe so. Is that a bad thing, I don't know."
Bronner said he meant they should be concerned about the environment for all products. "That they're angry I should say something like that, it's ok, I can handle it."
Councilwoman Mary Barchetto said the Council has recently instituted a new public comment system and that they are all learning and normally do not respond to citizens stating their opinions, no matter how outraged they may be.
"I'm sorry for not responding directly," she said. "Comments of a certain caliber should not be tolerated."