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Letters to editor

Vote confirms council action as theater

By From page A10 | August 10, 2014

I was disappointed in the City Council’s vote on the project labor agreement as recommended by staff. I wanted a “no” vote.

I could live with a “yes” vote if I felt it was honestly arrived at. Instead, it seemed to be already decided without hearing any of the arguments. I also saw that opposition was treated with little respect. I heard a contemporary named and berated publicly for his opposition research. Another commenter opposing the PLA who was passing out fliers was spoken to with venom and hostility. Yet, a PLA supporter was not stopped or reprimanded for heckling one of the opposition speakers.

Is that the right way to treat opposition?

I have only been to a handful of council meetings recently and usually it was to protest something that was being done or considered. I suspected it was a done deal before I got there, and usually it was. We mere citizens are not really part of the decision-making process. What is the purpose of these meetings? Do we really get input? Or is the purpose to announce decisions they’ve already made? If so, then they should say “no comments necessary,” and quit wasting our time.

I voted for several council members to represent me because I thought they were capable of running our city. I didn’t vote for staff to represent me. Staff didn’t run for City Council. I don’t even know who staff is. Maybe they should raise their hands, and introduce themselves since they are making all or most of the decisions for our city. I’d also like to know how often council members make decisions independent of the recommendations of staff. Is it some of the time, or hardly ever?

This is the council’s show. They run it. The whole process is nothing but theater. We are allowed to add a few short comments in order to be part of the show.

Shirlee Pierce

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • JagAugust 10, 2014 - 7:49 am

    Than get out there and out vote the senior citizen who have nothing better to do on voting day but go vote and they are putting and keeping these people in office,

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  • truth'nAugust 10, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Agree 100%

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  • Rick WoodAugust 10, 2014 - 11:18 am

    The Council doesn't run the City, it governs the City. That was part of the problem here. The Council told the staff what to recommend, and the staff complied. There were two failures. The first was the Council turning from governing to running the City. The second was the staff going along and making an indefensible recommendation. It does not bode well.

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  • Mr. PracticalAugust 10, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    What Shirlee isn't understanding is that by the time an item is on the agenda for a vote, it is generally too late to change a councilperson(s) mind. If they aren't 99% certain how they are going to vote before they enter chambers, they haven't done their due diligence on the issue. Prior to the evening of the vote they have already read and followed up on staff reports, talked to constituents and done any necessary field work. All testifying at the council meeting does is get your remarks on public record. Very seldom are you going to be able to provide new info or be compelling enough too change a decision that has already been thought out. All that being said, if a council member is not doing his or her due diligence, vote them out for that. I have less tolerance for an elected official not making the effort than I do for making a decision I don't agree with.

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  • B. ThiemerAugust 11, 2014 - 10:20 am

    It would have been infomrative to learn what parts of the PLA were negotiated and updated to benefit the workers and citizens of Fairfield. Or was the proposed PLA accepted as-is?

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