Monday, April 07, 2014

IN HAEC VERBA: My April 1, 2014 E-mail letter re: Civility at St Augustine Beach City Commission meetings

No response to date -- they must all agree!

April 1, 2014
Subject: Civil procedure at City Commission meetings in St. Augustine Beach

Dear Mayor Samuels, Vice Mayor O'Brien, Commissioners Pawlowski, Snodgrass and Helhoski and Mr. Royle:
Here are ten (10) modest suggestions for improving civility at all future St. Augustine Beach City Commission meetings.
1. Answer all citizen questions, as was the practice under Mayor Snodgrass for two (2) years, through city staff, at conclusion of public comment, before any other business.
2. Never interrupt citizen speakers again.
3. Hold all your questions until a speaker is finished.
4. Respect equal rights. "Three minutes" should apply equally to all public speakers, including corporate lobbyists, corporate real estate speculators/developers, and corporate salesmen, including lobbyists and salesmen seeking illegal, no-bid sweetheart government contacts. Otherwise, kindly abolish or modify your putative "three minute" rule, which appears to have fallen into desuetude by default (e.g., ATS, Windstream and other corporate speakers).
5. Don't roll yours eyes, glare, sneer, slouch in your chair, look at the ceiling, look away, look at your PDA or otherwise show disrespect for any speaker, or for each other.
6. Don't interrupt each other, or show disrespect, or act like either public speakers or your colleagues are bothersome pests.
7. Don't add important items to the agenda after it is posted on the SAB website. Do timely share all pertinent documents with the public.
8. Don't hold or delay important matters until late in the evening.
9. Do treat all citizens and each other with dignity, respect and consideration (i.e., please don't screech at each other, and please, don't ever fall asleep again, Mr. Royle, as you have written in your monthly newspaper columns that you frequently do during City Commission meetings).
10. Do not, when citizens' three minutes expire, ever again bark "time's up!" That impolite custom, in both our county BCC and SAB meetings, makes our government leaders look small, gauche and louche. A polite, sincere and appreciative "thank you" is both desired and required.
Citizens must not be treated as "outsiders."
Do you all agree?
May we have your thoughts, please?
Please call to discuss.
Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Ed Slavin

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