We all know our Mayor and Board of Aldermen don't like to hear from the citizens - they seem to forget we are also voters. They NEVER ask for our input on any issues. The only way we can express our opinions about anything is in the part of the Agenda for Visitors. Isn't that lovely? No matter how long (or how many generations) we've lived here, we're considered Visitors to our elected officials.
However, they decided a few months ago, that we visitors were talking too much, so they resurrected a rule that was supposedly already on the books. They told us if we wanted to say anything, we had to make a request - in writing, mind you - a week in advance. That is so preposterous!
But this week, they really got carried away with their boredom. Apparently, we talk too long. From now on, we visitors will be limited to only three minutes. There are rarely more than two visitors per meeting, so for a meeting that usually last at least two hours, the public gets six minutes. How generous of them! Oh, by the way, this rule was also supposedly already on the books.
This brilliant new policy was announced right before the two Visitors on the Agenda were scheduled to speak. The first speaker, Mrs Dunkley, made the remark that she wished she could limit their terms to three minutes. (Right on!) She had several concerns she wanted to bring before the Board that she had to rush through. Afterwards, she was furious and walked out. The second speaker, Mr Boxley, had prepared a very comprehensive report that he wished to discuss - the topic had previously been discussed by the Board. Somehow he was supposed to reduce it to three minutes - and he was cut off when that time expired.
The President of the Adams County Board of Supervisors wished to address the Board. However, I guess he was considered a visitor too. Since he had not requested in writing to be on the Agenda, there had to be a motion to suspend the rules to allow him to speak. He was also limited to three minutes. Is this not unbelievable? I can guarantee you that any member of the Board would have been more than welcome to speak before the Board of Supervisors for however long was necessary. However, I somehow doubt any of them would lower themselves to speak to our county government. I wonder how they would treat a representative of the state or federal government, from whom they are always begging for money.
You have to wonder if any of these yahoos are running for reelection. Do they really think no one is going to remember how the public has been treated? Their arrogance never ceases to amaze me.