We hope that talk of a better relationship between East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden and the Metro Council becomes a reality.

Holden was just re-elected to his third term as mayor. Holden was often at odds with the Metro Council during his second term. A big problem seemed to be Holden’s failure to keep council members informed in a timely manner about important city-parish issues.

We admire the mayor’s energy and ambition for Baton Rouge. He has the ability to do much good in his third term, but he’ll be limited in his ability to move Baton Rouge forward if he can’t get along with the Metro Council.

The period immediately after an election is often a time when political adversaries extend olive branches to each other. Such gestures are welcome, but successful relationships are built through sustained engagement — and respect for differences when disagreements surface.

We don’t expect the mayor and members of the Metro Council to agree on everything. Representative government is supposed to accommodate — and even encourage — a wide range of views. But we do expect elected officials to find common ground and compromise in a spirit of tolerance and civility.

That’s what we want from leaders in Washington, D.C., and that’s what we want in Baton Rouge, too.