Monday, September 18, 2017

A public service: If you plan on giving public comment tomorrow at the City Commission meeting.

Below are instructions on how to give
“Public Comment” at a Lake Worth
City Commission meeting.

The City Commission increased the time limit for public comment during “Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items” from two (2) minutes to three (3) minutes.

Consider this a test to see how far our City has progressed the last 10 years or so. It was while Jeff Clemens was mayor that some former commissioners, including Cara Jennings, pushed for lowering the time limit from 3 minutes to two minutes. The public had been grumbling for a while that 2 minutes wasn’t enough time.

The Commission listened. Now. . .

If the public can remain civil, behave themselves, and respect the Chair (Mayor Pam Triolo), then maybe the time limit for public comment can become 3 minutes for all items on the agenda, not just for “Non-Agendaed items”.

So. Please. At the Commission meeting tomorrow night don’t get silly, ramble on repeating yourself, make Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell say, “Is there a doctor in the house?”, or get all conspiratorial about the government, “forcibly medicating an entire population”.

Also, you are NOT REQUIRED to use all the time allotted you. If you’ve made your point, it’s perfectly OK to smile, say “Thank You” to the Chair, then return to your seat giving way to the next person waiting in line.

“How do I give public comment?”

Good question. Below are two examples of public comment. This first one is uncivil and un-charming public comment followed by civil and respectful public comment.

“If a boat-load of refugees came across on our shore here [Lake Worth’s Beach] how would we feel? I’d be ashamed to say that we’d probably take out guns and get rid of ‘em.”
—Quote by JoAnn Golden at public comment, Lake Worth City Commission.

You may recall when JoAnn Golden (a former commissioner) who, at the 40 second mark in the video below, praised the City of West Palm Beach for all their incredible work to help the homeless in that city. But then later, at the 1:15 mark, Golden goes off the rails with a terribly unfair and insulting characterization of the caring and giving people of Lake Worth:

Now for an example of civil and respectful public comment.

Below is an instructional video, an excellent example how to give public comment at a City Commission meeting. Note how City resident Kathy Turk approached issues of importance to her.

Read the bullet list and then watch the video for yourself:

  • At the 10:50 mark (click play and go to the minute marks) she begins her comment at the January 10th City Commission meeting.
  • At the 11:50 mark she begins speaking about the issue of unanswered emails and phone calls.
  • At the 12:50 mark about the pay increase for elected officials, she says, “. . . the pay is well worth the hours you put in.” She should know having 25 years of experience in Human Resources.
Hope you find this video helpful:

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