Great Take on Public Invited to be Heard

Chris Rodriguez posted recently on Longmont Politics a great article regarding the recent issue of limiting public invited to be heard time at city council meetings.

In this article, Chris lists several suggestions, all of which should be required reading for anyone wishing to speak at PITBH:

  • Not everyone will agree with what you have to say.  That should be obvious, but lately I’ve seen some people get upset that city council members may not value their opinion.  Get over it.
  • No one, elected or not, must accept, watch, or consider whatever piece of information you give them.  To you it may seem like common sense that any logical person should accept as fact and that it’s information people NEED to see, to others it may seem like propaganda.
  • Having people repeat themselves over and over, regardless of the number of people doesn’t make their issue more true or right.  It just means a lot of people got organized.  If consensus was based on this we’d have what is called “mob rule”.
  • There are many outlets to be heard and to communicate with elected officials, they include:  phone calls, emails, Coffee with Council, the newspaper (including Open Forum letters, the TC Line, and the online comment section), blogging, radio (KRCN 1060AM Monday nights at 6pm where Longmont is the only topic), discussions with advisory boards and committees – and of course Public Invited To Be Heard at this podium.
  • It seems lately attacks on staff and council are on the rise, not a good tactic to win people over.  The city’s rules on this aren’t draconian or over-restrictive; they are just trying to maintain some decency and decorum.  If you feel the need to make a personal attack, the previously mentioned venues are better suited than at this podium.  There are times and places for that kind of activity, I know, I’ve had my moments – but not here.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but lately people are nudging right up against that line, and they know better.
  • While you can talk about green cheese on the moon if you like, or political situations that have nothing to do with Longmont, this podium is not your personal soapbox and council and the public would be better served discussing Longmont issues at Longmont City Council meetings.  That’s not an unreasonable limitation or request, it’s common courtesy.
  • Some speakers are guilty of feeling they must be heard on every single subject.  That they must “check in” or “weigh in” at this podium.  This is not necessary and can be done at one of the other many opportunities citizens have to communicate with council.

Great advice.  We agree, that while the public has a right to be heard, the public should also not abuse that right and practice some common courtesy while exercising that right.  Let’s see if the main abusers recognize themselves and do the right thing in the future.

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One Response to Great Take on Public Invited to be Heard

  1. TeaPartyTed says:

    Let’s name the culprits here…

    “It seems lately attacks on staff and council are on the rise, not a good tactic to win people over.” The chief offender: JEFF THOMPSON, with a dishonorable mention to KAYE FISSINGER. And not just lately, either.

    “No one, elected or not, must accept, watch, or consider whatever piece of information you give them.” That mean you, TERESA FOSTER, with your endless tirade over offering DVD to Santos.

    “While you can talk about green cheese on the moon if you like, or political situations that have nothing to do with Longmont, this podium is not your personal soapbox…” STRIDER BENSTON, hands down.

    “Some speakers are guilty of feeling they must be heard on every single subject. That they must “check in” or “weigh in” at this podium.” This amounts to a witches brew of all of the named above, plus a few other hard left reprobates that slither in our town.

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