Public has a Right to be heard

What honest politician wouldn't LOVE this much public involvement?

Citizens getting involved and speaking out - only tyrants discourage it.

Recently there was a Letter to the Editor in the Times Call talking about limiting City Council’s Public Invited to Be Heard which is provided for at city council meetings on Tuesday nights.  Public Invited To Be Heard allows every Longmont citizen up to 3 minutes to talk to their locally elected representatives to tell them what they think about an issue.

As a former city council member for 5 years, there was no doubt that there were times that I wished folks would “hurry up” or “summarize their thoughts.  However, I always reminded myself about what America stands for. Here, in this country, we are allowed free speech and we are given the right to talk to our elected council members. While this might be inconvenient for elected officials, I feel strongly that citizens need to speak out and let their representatives know what is on the minds of the people they work for.  Remember, the voters are the ultimate decision makers.  City council members work for us.  How can they govern if they do not know how citizens feel about an issue?

We all have a right to speak out.   When someone decides they want to run for public office, this is the job that they agreed to perform.  Ducking out on this public duty is not the kind of person we want representing us. Elected officials need to listen.

  1 comment for “Public has a Right to be heard

  1. John Bigger
    January 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Well said, Karen. Those who seek to limit those whom they believe to be speaking as a result of a concerted effort are doing so out of distaste for the position which serves as the catalyst for said organization. The folks who live near the proposed fracking sites have every right to organize as their daily lives will be directly affected by the drilling activities. Similarly, the good residents of the Mill Village neighborhood were justified in speaking out, en masse, against the proposed Mill Village Apartments development.

    Like it it not, there are collective, citizen-based interest groups in this country who should be able to enjoy the right to express their opinions within the existing constraints of the arena in which they choose to exercise that right.

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