Well apparently dissent will not be tolerated...The rules committee is meeting today to discuss doing away with pubic comments at the end of the meeting. These comments are often times negative towards some councilmen and their votes. Make no mistake about it, if citizens were speaking in support of or praising the council, they would not now be trying to do away with this right. Oh and another thing...some on the council don't think it's your right to speak....unless of course THEY give you that right...
Anyways, they are meeting today on the 5th floor ..3:00 p.m. in the council conference room at city hall.That is room 501 at 125 North Main.
The Memphis City Council may soon vote to silence your voice by ending public comments at the end of every meeting.
The proposal gained momentum after a heated exchange between Councilman Edmund Ford and an outspoken wife of a police officer at the last meeting.
It only takes seven votes at the next meeting to bar general public comment. That is the two minutes each person now gets to talk at the end of every meeting.
The possibility that public comment may be eliminated is not sitting well with some Memphians.
"I don't know why an elected council member would challenge a citizen," said Fran Triplett.
"Don't ever think you can intimidate me or any of your cohorts—ever," replied Ford. (Click on the 1st link above and watch the videos and you decide who is intimidating who...Hint: It's not the wife of a police officer)
This heated exchange between councilman Ford and the wife of a Memphis police officer, Fran Triplett, is what racheted up council's recent interest in doing away with public comment at the end of each meeting.
Councilman Berlin Boyd spoke on behalf of Ford because he was ill today. Boyd says some email and public comments can get downright harassing. (And by downright harassing he means not agreeing with the councilman. Politics is not for the weak of heart. If Mr. Boyd can't handle a little dissent, he might want to go find a safe space to work in where they can issue trigger alerts before he gets his feelings hurt...like a University)
"It's more so a belittling pulpit, a bulling pulpit, and just ways of people to air out their business," said Boyd. (There is no other public forum where people can air their grievances and if the council could end this practice they would be A Ok with it...no surprise there.)
There is no constitutional right to speak on the council floor, but that does not mean people will be happy to lose the opportunity. Some have taken to Facebook to express their opposition.
"It's a change and I think people will get adjusted to it and people will realize hey this is a new change that the council has implemented. And I think as time goes on they will accept it and say hey this is how it goes," said Boyd. (Wow 1984 much Berlin Boyd? You are correct...the loss of liberty doesn't happen in one full swoop, it happens incrementally, step by step so as not to upset the apple cart ...too much. It's the comments at the heel of the meeting now...and the comments during the meeting at a later time. We know how this works and so NO we will not say " hey, this is how it goes". Keep up the good work Herr Boyd because this will hopefully be your 1st and last term.)
But Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he did not mind the public forum when he was a councilman.
Read the rest here...