Dayton City Commission meetings: public not that welcome

A bunch of people from South Park went down to the commission meeting tonight- and a few of us got there after their 6pm start time.

It didn’t use to be a problem, as long as you filled out a speaker’s form, you could take it up and have a chance to be heard. Not any more.

If you are just a minute tardy, you don’t get to speak. You hear something at the meeting that you want to talk about- come back next week. You look over the agenda- and see nothing mentioned about Ernies Tavern on Wayne Avenue- but are surprised about their informal resolution- too bad. Our current City Commission doesn’t really care.

I spoke to the Mayor about this after the meeting- she didn’t do much more than listen, and then suggested I talk to the clerk, Len Roberts. My response: he works for you, you work for me- so I’m coming to you.

Ohio has “Sunshine laws” or “Open meeting” laws for a reason. Apparently, our current commission thinks we aren’t worth hearing unless we meet their time schedule. Quite frankly, I’m disgusted.

The worst part: the Commission had plenty of time to banter about what they did over the last week, and have Commissioner Whaley cracking wise every couple of minutes, but they didn’t care to hear at least three other citizens who had wanted to speak.

What do you think?

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10 Responses

  1. Kevin August 1, 2007 / 10:41 pm
    That sucks. I guess don’t be late next time.

    Anyways, have you called Paul Woodie yet?

  2. Melissa August 2, 2007 / 8:38 am
    Seriously, I’d stop worrying about zingING the DDN for their use of “ing” until ya learn the difference between “their” and “there” (first paragraph).
  3. David Esrati August 2, 2007 / 9:24 am

    Melissa, I’m going to have to either start charging you for the privilege of reading my late night rambling- or pay you to edit.
    Sorry. I do know the difference.

    Kevin:
    The point isn’t about being late- the point is who is working for whom here?
    Haven’t called Paul Woodie. Not sure it would do any good.

  4. gary Staiger August 2, 2007 / 11:34 am
    Limiting debate/question period at City Commission meetings is something that really got under way during Mike Turners time as mayor. He was the one who cu the time limit on speakers to 3 minutes. Current Commissioners, all small “d” Democrats who hardly ever attend party meetings, ought to be ashamed of themselves. Perhaps a rebuke from the local Democratic party apparatus would be in order??
  5. Michael August 2, 2007 / 12:23 pm
    Right on David. Who does the commission work for? Who benefits from citizens being silenced? Last night on the 11pm news, I watched some citizens talk about the Kroger development. It was refreshing to hear good citizens trying to hold commission accountable. Ms. McLin responded that the city would not throw “good money after bad.”

    Also, it was nice to see the local TV news station cover something of real importance instead of the latest stabbing in Harrison Twp. As for Gary’s idea of a rebuke from the local Democratic Party, maybe he’s onto something. I’m not a fan of our political parties because they both are more concerned with getting people elected for political reasons instead of getting good things done. It disgusts me.

    Keep fighting the good fight, even if your grammar does slip sometimes. I can’t believe it bothered Melissa so much; she must be a real grammar goddess!

  6. David Esrati August 2, 2007 / 2:37 pm

    What the city missed by not letting me speak were some options on the “comedy of errors” as the Mayor so aptly (and stupidly) described the Kroger deal.
    It’s ok- I don’t need their TV cameras to get my message out.
    Michael- hope to meet you sometime.
    I’ve added “For the Love of Dayton” to my blogroll and posted about your site.

  7. Michael August 2, 2007 / 6:07 pm
    Thanks a lot David. I’m ecstatic to finally be here in the blogosphere with others who share my positive vision for the future of our city. Your site was one of the few blogs I read for a long time. You’re doing Dayton a real service. Rock on!

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