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College president applauds YDR/YSN for its call for civility in the public square

Opinion Page Editor Scott Fisher is a builder of lists.

Here’s a list of his lists:

1.A couple of years ago, he put together a list of most influential leaders in the York community.

2. Then he compiled unsung heroes.

3. He brings in seven community columnists each year to write in rotation.

4. And then he compiled a list of Servants of Civility – community members who, well, let Scott’s piece of 20 such folks explain it:

“The Fred Phelpses of this world get a lot of attention – too much attention.

“The outlandish, the controversial, the hyperbolic – they get way more than their 15 minutes of fame.

“The Rush Limbaughs, the Jon Stewarts, the Glenn Becks, the Keith Olbermanns of our society dominate the public discourse – or believe they do. In the political realm, it’s the egotistical Nancy Pelosis and Michele Bachmanns who draw the cameras, the ink and the tweets.

“But what about the unassuming, workaday public servants?”

5. This year, he introduced “People Who Matter,” people who bring together several qualities from earlier lists – they’re unsung, effective, civil, leaders.

As in other lists, he and I compare notes. We run folks past staff members. And very importantly, we ask the public for nominees – crowd sourcing, as it is called.

Those so selected take notice.

Scott and I have discussed that being chosen as a person who matters should be – and is – a high honor.

So it came as a compliment to Scott when Allegheny College’s president noticed the YDR/YSN’s call for civility and its 20 Servants of Civility: Let’s laud civility.

Allegheny’s James H. Mullen, Jr. wrote: “A wonderful example is a recent article in the York Daily Record, a mid-sized daily newspaper in Pennsylvania, where the editorial board highlighted civil servants who were ‘advocates of well-informed, level-headed discourse.’ Different publications will develop their own ways. But the Daily Record’s leadership in this regard is to be commended.”

By writing those words, Allegheny’s president indicated that Scott Fisher is a person who matters.


Got any ‘Servants of Civility’ or ‘People Who Matter’ to recommend? Contact Scott Fisher, sfisher@ydr.com or comment here.