Keep it clean

The issues are complex, the debate is fierce and the passion on both sides of the North Park rezoning debate is understandable.

What's not understandable is why some players in this debate have let their blows start to fall below the belt.

For some, the debate has become personal and nasty.

As our loyal readers would know, we have received a veritable storm of letters about the rezoning in recent months.

It has come to our attention that some of these letters, in opposition to the North Park rezoning, were submitted under pseudonyms.

Des Healy and Ken Smale were both members of the Collingwood VFL team in the 1950s.

They are not local residents with legitimate concerns about the North Park rezoning.

This issue was first brought to The Guardian's attention after it was contacted by a member of the real Mr Healey's family, who was concerned that someone was using his name despite the fact he had passed away some years earlier.

'Mr Healey' made some fairly articulate and, at times, well-researched arguments against the rezoning on a number of occasions. 'Mr Smale' appears to have been our letter writer's (or writers') more fecitious persona.

His letters were full of inuendo and snide remarks.

Both writers were strong in their attacks against council's case for the rezoning.

Other members of the Collingwood VFL team have also tried to lodge letters of late.

Not surprisingly, they are formatted in a very similar way to Messrs Healey and Smale. Needless to say, they did not make it to print.

If you believe in your opinions and have nothing to hide, then why not stand by them? Not to put too fine a point on it, but using the names of other people to push your own agenda is simply gutless.

Our message to both sides of the debate is simple: keep it clean, don't get personal and cut out the dirty tricks.