Tuesday, July 18, 2017

You demanded change. You pleaded for change. Now you got the change you wanted so badly.

So. Please. At the Commission meeting tonight 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”.

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

From the City Commission meeting on June 13th:

The resolution would amend Rule 6, Debate of Motions; Voting, changing the time limit for public comment from two minutes to three minutes during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items.
     The City Commission adopted Resolution 56-2013 to amend Rule 6 of the Rules and Procedures to allow the public to speak on consent agenda items (which are not removed by the Commission for discussion) during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed items for two minutes per speaker . . . to afford the public three minutes to speak during Public Participation of Non-Agendaed Items.

“Hmmm. How do I give public comment?” Good question. There are two instructional videos below.

First, a little history. If you recall, public comment at Lake Worth Commission meetings used to be three minutes until things got so out of hand it was reduced to two minutes. Jeff Clemens was the mayor of the City of Lake Worth back then. He got so tired of the “dysfunction junction” and ran for a seat in the State House of Representatives. The rest is history as they say.

Anyhow. 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.

She didn’t get angry. She didn’t point fingers. And she didn’t put anyone “on the hot seat”.

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:

On the upside, most of the ‘Weetha Peebull’ crowd doesn’t attend Commission meetings any more. That all stopped after City Manager Michael Bornstein installed cameras in the chambers in 2012.

One of the best decisions ever by our city manager.

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