What that post dealt with was the disturbing news regarding several people who had made public comments at the September 18 Planning Commission meeting, only to discover later that, in the KGEM replays at least, what they said that evening had somehow vanished. The natural suspicion being that someone had been doing a little surreptitious editing, and decided that these particular comments were best left on the cutting room floor. Where they would be both out of sight and safely out of mind, you understand.
As you may also recall, this particular meeting was yet another of those dealing with the seemingly endless attempt by the folks at CETT to build some jumbo LULU McMansions up at One Carter. A matter of great importance in town, and one that most likely is heading to the Courts fairly soon.
To be clear, nobody in an official capacity has discussed anything like lawsuits yet, nor are they likely to do so anytime soon. But that hardly means what we are speculating about here isn't true, or that the last few meetings haven't really been more about legal jockeying than any potential McMansions. Just so you know.
So here is how this was all described on The Tattler Sep 23:
I have received several complaints from people who have told me that their public comment from the most recent Planning Commission meeting has pretty much been chopped out from any of the SMTV3 reruns.
Which is kind of troubling in a couple of ways. The first being that this city is blessed with some very thoughtful and eloquent people, folks who actually bother to go to City Hall for these meetings and share what they know. A thankless task if ever there was one. You'd think they would deserve to be treated a little better than that. Besides, finding out later that your brief 3 minute talk has been badly cut or even deleted from Planning Commission meeting TV reruns altogether has got to be a sobering experience. You could find yourself wondering why that might be. Are your thoughts really that dangerous?
Even more troubling is that there might actually be somebody in a position of authority here who actually fears what some people had to say to the Planning Commission last Thursday. To the point where they would arrange to have the comments in question badly truncated or even deleted entirely from city video taped meeting reruns. You have to wonder what the stakes might be for someone to cause such a thing to happen. It really is kind of mind boggling and absurd.
As you also likely know, reruns of City Council and Planning Commission meetings are pretty much the meat and potatoes of SMTV3 here in Sierra Madre. With public comment always being an important part of these rebroadcasts. And it is quite probable that more people see those meetings in the repeats than they do live.
Several residents whose public comments appeared to be tampered with had written into the City asking for explanations. Yesterday replies were sent out by City Hall, and I managed to get my mitts on a couple of them. Here is the first.
For the record, I am often at these meetings, and I do bring a laptop with me so that I can transcribe some of the happenings there. And I do use the Internet, of course. So if Leticia's theory is correct here, I could be at fault. Though I am having some trouble accepting that.
The other response came from Elaine Aguilar, Sierra Madre's longstanding City Manager.
Now here is the part where you come in. We're looking for a few good witnesses. Anonymous ones are fine. The issue as I understand it wasn't the live broadcast, but the repeat airings of that broadcast. It is where people began to notice that what they'd said at the meeting had been somehow deleted. After all, they could hardly have been watching themselves disappear on television at home while they were at City Hall making a public comment at the same time. Right?
So how else would they have known? It's not like anyone at home could tell if what they were saying was not being broadcast live.
A couple of the people I have been corresponding with have said that they did watch this particular meeting at home, and that the public comments in question were broadcast in their entirety. At least in the original "live" airing. It was only later that they disappeared.
This, of course, was after they'd discussed the matter with those who had made the actual public comments.
So anyway, if you were a witness that evening, let us know what you saw. Leave a comment here. As you can tell, it really is quite a mystery. And inquiring minds always need to know.