Civility, with a sharp point

We like to use the term “poke the bear” to refer to prodding one’s critics.

Apparently Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt also subscribes to the “poke the bear” philosophy — literally. He mailed a pin to frequent Columbia River Crossing sparring partner and critic Robert Dean that had just the word “civility” on it.


So Dean sent his response to the pin on Jan. 25, cc-ing a few of us here at The Columbian.

“Mr. Mayor,

Thank you for the civility pin that came in the mail today. I will wear it with pride and pass it on to my grandkids when I die.

I do try to maintain civility in public discourse. In fact, it was the gracious manners of David Madore that inspired my recent activism.

Thank you for recognizing my efforts and allowing me to join with you and the rest of the Council in restoring civility and good manners to our community.”

Leavitt said he got the pin when he signed a civility pledge last year at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in D.C.

“It was just kind of a reminder to Robert — I know that he likes to preach civility and looks to David Madore… but there are times when he gets a bit off balance and crosses the line,” Leavitt said late last week. “It’s just a reminder to remain civil and to remember to treat other as they should be treated.”

Dean said he still is treasuring the pin — an item he happens to collect.

“I am proud of that pin,” Dean emailed me. “I’ve already added it to my collection along with the hand written envelope with $0.88 postage.”

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