It’s nice to be nice.
But it’s not required by law.
That's according to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling this week that towns, cities, and public agencies cannot silence a person during public comment portions of meetings for making rude statements.
The court ruled that the state’s constitution lets citizens verbally confront public officials, even to the point of calling them Hitler, and officials can't just kill the microphones to shut up angry people at public meetings, writes Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.
The SJC also determined that a bylaw in Southborough, which required statements to be "respectful and courteous, free of rude, personal, or slanderous remarks" and which bars shouting and "inappropriate language" was unconstitutional.
And that makes it all the more remarkable that we have so many decent folks willing to serve on our local elected and appointed boards and commissions.