As most of you know, a woman was removed from Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. Apparently Susan Overfield, who owns Overfield Kennels in Vaughn, continued speaking after her time limit had expired. She was asked to step away from the microphone by Mayor Stebbins, she refused, and the situation got louder and eventually a police officer stepped in to lead her away – at which point she took a poke at the officer. That’s what the Trib reports, although I wish that I had been watching the meeting on Channel 7 (or better yet – been able to attend the meeting!).
Naturally, this has led to back and forth discussion about the 3-minute rule at City Commission meetings. I think that a time limit is reasonable – whether it’s three or five or ten minutes, I don’t know – but without any limits, it becomes increasingly likely that some long-winded citizen – perhaps sincerely, perhaps maliciously, perhaps crazily – would monopolize the proceedings and turn the meeting into a joke. The bottom line is that City Commission meetings should be open to everybody, but monopolized by nobody.
Of course any limits are bound to produce outrage in some quarters – not entirely unjustified – but check out this reaction from “Sarge” in the Tribune forums to Tuesday’s incident:
This sounds too much like Germany in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s when the Nazi’s were in control. People were “escorted” out of buildings by plain clothes Gestapo officers, only to never be seen again. Thank goodness this incident was caught on video – it may have saved a life!
I honestly can’t tell if “Sarge” is trying to be funny. Is he having fun, or do you think that he’s an unhinged Bush-Derangement-Syndrome sufferer who truly thinks that we are living in a state of oppression and tyranny?