All of which makes statements published this week in the Mountain Views News equating legitimate public debate and free speech with Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and sexual cruelty even more troublesome. And while it is the right of someone to say such things, any sane person can only shake their head and laugh at such lunacy. That is a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom as well.
So it's time to clear the air a little. Freedom of speech, and the rights of citizens to confront their elected officials when they let them down, is a sacred and guaranteed trust in this country. It is one of the great principles that our nation was founded upon, and as something that poses a threat to those who might not profit from having inconvenient truths spoken to faithless power, must be protected at all times. The attempts to intimidate and silence those who would stand up and speak out at our City Council meetings during the time set aside for public comments must be deplored. The opinions of the citizens of this town must be heard, be it on the topic of flowerpots, dog ordinances, or the failure of a City Councilmember to keep his promises.
It is in this spirit that we are taking a few moments today to bring to your attention a YouTube website known as Neuroblast Films. The people who developed this site are keenly aware of how government works best when its dealings are fully revealed, and they have put up video clips of key moments from our City Council meetings to help accommodate the public need to know. You owe it to yourself to spend a little time going through their video archives and see for yourself what is to be found there. Some of it is quite eye opening.
Yesterday Neuroblast Films posted a public comment given by Shirley Moore at our most recent City Council meeting. During her less than 4 minutes at the podium Shirley detailed many of the reasons why she, as a former supporter of Joe Mosca, would never consider voting for him again. She carefully lists the broken promises and failures in office that have caused many of Joe's backers from 2006 to now look elsewhere for leadership. Rather than summarize what it is she had to say, you can view Shirley's comments for yourself by clicking here.
The reaction of Councilmember Joe Mosca upon hearing such an indictment of his record in office is now legendary. Despite rules of order agreed to by all the currently seated City Councilmembers - which includes not getting in peoples' faces during public comments - Mosca basically melted down. Many of the things said by Ms. Moore during her time at the podium were issues Joe has worked very hard to keep from becoming topics of discussion in this election, claiming instead that "decorum" and "attitudes" are really the burning concerns of 2010. Obviously what he had just heard was something that didn't quite fit in with this reelection strategy.
Joe's clearly panicked reaction, plus the Mayor's efforts to convince him to adhere to rules of order that he himself had voted to uphold, can see seen here.
We are now one week away from our City Council elections.
Bonus Coverage - In the latest Mountain Views News Susan Henderson makes the following tendentious statement:
You will see in this edition numerous letters to the editor. For your information, although the majority of them seem to be of the same persuasion, these are the letters that were authorized to print. So if you notice what appears to be a bias, it isn't.
So is Ms. Henderson saying here that letters not in agreement with her somewhat narrow worldview weren't printed because the authors didn't fill out the proper forms?