By: Diane Benjamin
Public comment went over 30 minutes last night. That set a new precedent for allowing it to go over 30 minutes without a Council vote. Keep that in mind when Tari doesn’t want to allow all the speakers in the future. The 30 minute time limit should only apply when someone is talking, the time it takes to shuffle speakers shouldn’t be included.
Just so you know, the City isn’t keeping a permanent record of what is said at public comment. They are erasing history by no longer including a recap of what is said. This started shortly after the new out-or-town clerk was recruited. Here’s an example of what is recorded now:
The only permanent record is the videos. We don’t know how long they will be retained. Think the City really cares about the opinions of citizens?
The first two speakers complained about the conditions of the sidewalks. Both have disabilities and find them unusable. Both claimed to have talked to Alderman Schmidt, obviously aldermen have no power to get anything done.
Next was a string of people opposed to VenuWorks taking over the management at the BCPA. It’s fun to hear self-serving citizens who think everybody else should pay for what they want. The Council later voted 9-0 against VenuWorks. Since that move was presented as saving at least $200,000, don’t expect this Council to find anything to cut. Of course no one on the Council thinks government shouldn’t be in the entertainment business. How many sidewalks would $200,000 fix?
Listen to Angela Scott, Bruce Meeks and Scott Stimely at 35:00.
Former Alderman Jim Fruin showed up, see his comments at 51:40. He wants the Council to share sales tax with Normal, a plan they already rejected. He also wants a code of conduct for Council members. He doesn’t explain who gets to judge the behavior of others. We already have Not In Our Town who thinks they get to judge, we know how that has worked out! Who gets to set the standards Jim? If an alderman raises their voice do they get censured? Jim, what we really need is a way for citizens to recall members of the Council who exhibit behavior unbecoming of a public servant.
Of course, that won’t happen!
Just hit play to hear all public comments: