Tuesday, February 26, 2019

When the People Speak, Council Should

From Roch Smith Jr in his article, A better way to improve City Council’s public forums:

"Public comments at city council meetings are not tempestuous simply because speakers and supporters are rambunctious by nature. It’s not a matter of football fans showing up instead of golf fans. Tumult arises when the response of council to a public concern is inadequate and people must, literally and figuratively, raise their voices. It has been that way for years.

Public comments at these forums don’t become heated just because people want to blow off steam. People come to these forums because they perceive a need for action and, history shows, the atmosphere gets raucous when elected officials side-step concerns and remain immune to facts brought to their attention."

When the people speak, Council should act. Listening alone isn't enough. Pretending to listen is even worse, sleeping through meetings is the worst kind of insult to the people they represent. And allowing it to continue for a decade or longer says they just don't care.

The original text I posted with that photo on Facebook in 2016 was taken from a City Council business meeting in which the City of Greensboro claimed no video was taken in response to several public information requests for videos from the meeting.

"Is that a video camera behind a sleeping Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman? And why does the City of Greensboro claim there was no video of that meeting?"

No further explanation was ever given.

It all comes back to bite....