I live in a small town, deep in South Texas – as in, if- you -go -any -further- you- are- now- in -Mexico – deep… it’s a town where people know all of your business, high school football is king, and the city officials are, in most cases, a “friend”.
Before I continue, let me make it clear that whatever statements I make are not directed at one person, in particular, nor is it even, specifically, about my hometown. These statements are in general and really made to ask one (ok, maybe two) question(s)… “Is Open Forum a Right or a Privilege?”
About a year ago it was determined that town hall meetings in my little neck of the woods would no longer allow for an open forum. Basically, there is now a virtual complaint box – one in which they can choose to acknowledge or chose to ignore.. and there is nothing we can do about it.
Having an attorney in my family, I thought it best to broach the very infuriating topic up with him first BEFORE I take my rant to Facebook.
Me: We have a right to say what we want to say, as long as it is done during the allotted time and follows the rules (don’t be ugly, rude, or disrespectful)
Him: Open Forum is not a right, it’s a privilege.
Me: Having a seat on the city council is not a right, either – it is a PRIVILEGE, that, we, the citizens they are so vehemently trying to shut up, GAVE them.
Him: well, after you gave them that privilege, it is now their right to shut it down.
So which is it? I still stand by my opinion that it is, indeed, our right but I really can’t argue with his logic (I hate when people respond to my rants with LOGIC, btw). But that just leads me to my second question – are any of these people that we have given this very generous right to even QUAlIFIED to be making such decisions – ANY decision, for that matter????? I would have to say, from experience, that the majority of them are not. So how did it get this way? Who decided that we would allow our town and our schools to be run by a group of people that can hardly manage their household, let alone make such hugely impacting decision? (For the record, this does not apply to ALL of them – just most of them.)
I don’t know where the suggestion box is for this but I’m thinking someone needs to find it – and fast –
I’d probably check the website first. 🙂