What Will They Try Next?
The following post is a compilation of ideas and conversations that occurred after the last Council Meeting which left a lot of us feeling as though the more they try to flex their power over the people, the more ridiculous they become.
Walking into last Thursday's Council Session was a bit disorienting for those of us who have attended with any regularity over time. The seating arrangements were completely askew, all for the purpose of controlling the public, and making sure that everyone knows who's in charge, and who's rules the public must abide by. Gahan has thrown down the gauntlet.
However, we beg to differ on this point of controlling order at the meetings, as the rules are not at the discretion of the sitting Council President. The rules are all spelled out in a little book known as Robert's Rules of Order.
There is a reason for these Robert’s Rules of Order and it has to do with carts and horses and prioritizing the people’s rights, not the administrations whims. It’s an arrangement that best protects the taxpayer, who should be able to control the city, not the other way around. Other systems and tools are in place for order during the meetings, but it takes a person who not only demands civility but practices it himself. Otherwise, he will never be respected and never have any power over any part of the room no matter what he does. The president can continue to be a little juvenile bully or learn how successful people manage by attending other council meetings, reading books, and learning. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to hold my breath for this guy. I think the future looks bleak.
Separating the public comments into two different agenda items is an oncoming train because there will be too much gray area. We will waste more time arguing about what is relevant to an agenda item to one person that may not be relevant to another person. And there will be all sorts of new interesting spins placed on how people get around to what they really want to talk about by tying it to the agenda items in some obscure and creative fashion. It is completely and utterly stupid. We are the citizens and what they are doing is denying us our rights, insulting our intelligence and making us more resolute in voting against them. We are the tax-payers. We represent our neighborhoods. We spread the word.
Take the example of the people on Martin Drive two council meetings ago. Who knew? Had they not shown up and spoken about this mess they unfairly have to deal with, find their councilman, be directed to the board of works, etc., where would they be? We all listened to those tax payers for the first time, explaining how their basement was now flooding and their property was being eroded away by the new hospital expansion, a hospital that is causing these people pain and suffering. The council served and directed these people in this new matter that faced them and that was good. And it wasn’t on the agenda.
May I ask, What about what we want? What about what is taking place all across America? Why does New Albany have to reinvent the wheel? Why do they have to “form a committee” for discovery into what sort of agenda we should follow? The key word in “Robert’s Rules of Order” is ORDER. Order means many things, but in the context of our situation, the definitions that apply would be “functioning,” “instruction,” “neatness,” “arrangement,” and “absence of crime.” Any deviation from these rules of order, by our council, can only be construed to be some antic to suppress our rights and a stand against the words in quotations listed. You heard the uproar and laughter when Gahan made the comment that he wants to make sure the citizens are heard and embraced or whatever poppycock he was spewing. This, on the night when they move the camera that has been watching them for a year and a half, from the front of the room to the back. Hello. We are not blind.
It really is astonishing how clearly we can see them and yet they do not seem to see us. They are sort of like a fish tank, I suppose, only entertaining in a very different way.
Many thanks go out to those who contributed so much to this posting. It couldn't have happened without you.