The “Return of the mask”- Citizen Participation again an issue.

The new rule is: if you don’t turn in your speaking sheet before the meeting starts- foo on you.

That isn’t exactly welcoming citizen participation. So I hauled the mask back out (for those of you coming into this late- see this page).

You see, the agenda they had out at the Dayton City Commission isn’t complete. Today, for instance, Tom Ritchie spoke about the Appalachian festival, Someone else spoke about the Helena High Rise as a homeless shelter and the Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia, spoke- all without mention on the agenda. Had a citizen wanted to speak on any of those issues- too bad.

This didn’t used to be a problem under Mayor Turner- who even allowed citizens to turn in requests as other citizens were speaking (even though his commission obviously wasn’t in favor of citizens speaking at all on camera). Either you believe in the value of citizen participation or you don’t.

But afterward, Commissioner Williams said I blindsided him with my choice of headgear- I went straight for the elbow, no trash talk first. My response- support the principles involved, or don’t- style has nothing to do with right or wrong. We will see what happens.

Apparently, I’m the first to question this rule in over a year- even though the DDN reporter told me that a group of 25 people came to support something, sat through a 3 hour meeting, but didn’t get to speak because they handed in their sheets a minute late. Of course, they weren’t exactly pleased about wasting their time, or wanted to suffer through another session to question the policy. You see, it’s only the ones who really care who speak up- most will just walk away. The most important lesson in Customer Service is to listen to what the customer isn’t saying- like when they leave a meal untouched on their plate.

And my addressing of the other pet peeve, the one about paying a huge number of staff to sit by while most of this has no bearing on the health and welfare of our citizens- Commissioner Williams comments :58, Commissioner Lovelace comments 3:58, The Mayor (minus sidekick Whaley) 5:55 of her version of “The View” – If she wants to do a Dayton Calender and social visit show- she can do it without the entire staff, the police, the DATV crew on the payroll.

If you believe that Citizens should come first- and be granted permission to speak by turning in a form at anytime in the meeting- please contact Commission Clerk Len Roberts via [email protected]

Remember, they are supposed to work for us.

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