I have read with sad interest the unfolding saga of Moline Alderman Chuck Davis, the questions involving his legal residency, and the public revelation of his unfortunate financial situation. News reports mention a pending charge of domestic battery. But until Davis has been given his day in court, what bearing does it even have on the issue of his aldermanic position?

I realize I am not be privy to all the facts, but from what I have heard and read via the media, I consider the seriousness of Davis' alleged wrongdoing grossly exaggerated and the actions of Moline's city council cold-hearted. Do the people living in Moline feel they have been slighted because he might or might not currently be living within city limits? I suspect they don't. I also suspect the majority of people in Moline would display more common sense and compassion than the city's political minority, which is supposedly speaking on their behalf.

The absolute last thing Davis or his family needed was the additional pain and embarrassment of having his personal problems presented publicly via the media.

If our political leaders lack compassion to help even their own, I have little faith they would show compassion for interests near and dear to my heart unless it served their own purposes. It appears compassion is a trait lacking in Moline's city council. Couldn't Davis' unfortunate situation be discussed by the council without it becoming a public issue?

Those sitting on their judgmental pedestals can only hope they themselves never encounter tragic circumstances that mushroom beyond their control and plunge them into the hell of emotional and financial dire straits. It is not an experience that should be wished on anyone:

* to feel the fear that eats in the pit of your stomach as you balance for weeks and months on the brink of losing everything, feeling helpless as you wait for the final fall;

* the emotional drain on your pride and self-esteem, fearing someone will learn of your real situation as you struggle to cope with living a double life;

* to endure the depth of despair and helplessness as you watch everything you have worked for crumble into ruin, including the foundation of your family; and

* to find the courage it takes to swallow pride and ask for help.

Under such duress, how many of us could keep our mind and actions free of the constant and distracting question of "What am I going to do?" How many of us would not be reluctant and embarrassed to come forth and acknowledge our situation by answering such personal questions, hoping instead that we might be able to resolve our situation on our own before any problems arose.

Moline's city council is unwilling to extend any positive assistance toward Davis and his family. I find it sad and disheartening if they can't at least cut some compassionate slack involving his "current place of residence." If his only "crime" involves his residency, don't compound his problems with the prospect of lawsuits, fines, dismissal, and further public humiliation. Try setting a good example of compassion: Extend Davis some help, and an opportunity to get back on his feet.

And although I'm far from wealthy myself, send that damned water bill to me. I'll pay it for his family.

Karen Michael
Davenport, Iowa

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