Earlier this week I caught myself using the word “fibbery” in a discussion at work. Afterwards, not sure if such a word really existed, I looked to confirm that it was proper English usage. 

Fibbery:  The act or practice of fibbing; the telling of lies, falsehoods, fibs. 

A “fib” is further defined as a trivial or childish lie.  Fibbery doesn’t sound so bad, sounds a bit amusing, like some outdated term from Edwardian times.  Anyhow, fibs are not really lies, are they? Maybe they are just concealing the truth so as not to offend someone, just a little white lie that doesn’t hurt anyone. So why all the fuss?

In Dante’s Inferno, the Nine Circles of Hell’s lowest depths are reserved for those who tell lies, who are spreaders of falsehoods. Today many of us no longer hold such beliefs or are willing to suffer such misery as we find ourselves embracing, allowing, and participating in the prevalent acceptance of fibbery in our society, edging out more noble doings, such as honesty, righteousness, and decency. 

We are all collectively affected by the downward slide of the discourse on social media and in personal discussions, when it comes to feeding the false news reality many have come to accept and believe. 

When society begins to accept such behavior from our leaders and those of moral authority as the norm, the act of fibbery, the telling of lies and the spreading of falsehoods quickly permeates all levels of society. It becomes acceptable for city staff to tell a fib when not wanting to anger a resident or admit a mistake. It’s OK for elected officials not to be honest with constituents so as not to lose a vote. 

It becomes OK for supervisors to make up lies instead of implementing company policy. This sends the wrong message to our children, that it’s easier to lie and fib than to face and deal with the truth, not a good barometer of where we are heading as a society. Feeling good at all costs, making everyone happy and keeping up the charade, with no bad news to upset anyone has become the accepted norm. One little fib today, big lies tomorrow. 

Residents of Wilton Manors should never expect fibs or lies from our elected officials, our city staff, or organizations operating within our city. Unfortunately, we are not immune to the rampant choice of fibbery over truth. Most of us would much prefer the harsh truth over being lied to, except perhaps when talking about good looks and weight loss.  This is a major benefit and importance of having a free press in our society that will ask questions and hold a spotlight on those who are misbehaving. 

Thankfully for Wilton Manors residents, South Florida Gay News publishes “The Wilton Manors Gazette,” offering local news and so much more. Having a quality news outlet reporting and asking tough questions makes this community a better place in which to live and do business. 

So, as we move ahead in 2018, there are some tough questions for city staff and our elected officials that need some honest answers and future planning. As the City of Oakland Park moves ahead with a total redesign project of Andrews Avenue from Prospect Road to Oakland Park Boulevard with medians, bike lanes, crosswalks and so much more, why is nothing planned for Wilton Manors as we continue to wait for our Land Use Study? 

Why do we keep getting told that it’s a county road and the county’s responsibility? Obviously, the City of Oakland Park found a way make things happen.  Why has Leisure Services plopped down an eyesore of a storage shed right next to the painstakingly restored historic Richardson Carriage House? Why should so many residents who donated large sums of money and time on the restoration project be so unhappy with the recent actions by city staff? Why have so many surrounding cities initiated wrapping utility boxes with locally inspired artwork while none have been done in our city? Why should we believe that the new unfunded Public Art Committee will have any success at making this happen? Why are so many residents in River Manor still not receiving the Town Crier, even after numerous phone calls, complaints; and why does city staff keep responding that the problem has been taken care of?

The fibs of the past by city officials as to why things are done a certain way or cannot be done at all are catching up with them as we see other cities moving forward with projects that many here in Wilton Manors have been asking about for many years. How can we make these things happen? By actively participating in our local government, holding officials responsible, and knowing the truth, we will continue to make life just better here.