It’s late …..and I’ve had too much to think – 8/23/06

August 23, 2006

Public input

Stop Our City closed its advertised “public” meeting yesterday. Today on WCOA’s Pensacola Speaks Councilman Marty Donovan first distanced himself from the closing of the meeting by saying that it was Charlie Fairchild’s decision, not his.

Then, he went on to say that Jeff Deweese, an employee of O’Sullivan Creel and a known supporter of the Community Maritime Park, deserved to be kicked out because he was taking notes on their meetings and reporting back to the Independent News and others.

Wait a second!!! If your meeting is public, then you lose the right to privacy. You can’t get angry because someone in the meeting might not agree with your positions. A public meeting means everyone – supporter or not – has the right to know what’s said in your meetings!!!

Donovan completely ignored that a SOC dues paying member – who had walked the streets for SOC and got signatures for their petition – Evan Gray was also kicked out because he was young and they thought he was a snitich working for the Independent News.

For over a year, SOC has attended public council meetings, listened to the deliberations and then spoke out against the members. A public meeting means everyone should be welcomed, especially for a group that says it wants citizen input.

However, SOC doesn’t want any opposition to attend their public meetings. If someone isn’t white or a certain age and doesn’t believe every position of the SOC leadership, then they can’t be allowed to attend any more.

It’s very clear that for SOC “citizen input” means input from only citizens of a certain age and color. “If you look like us, then you can attend our meetings – but don’t ask questions or expect to hold a leadership position.”

There is no debate in SOC. There is no voting. It’s a facism system that requires blind allegience. Either you drink the SOC Kool-aid or you’re out the door. Their version of the truth is almost Orwellian – its double-speak.

“No maritime museum” – but then we see $3 million donated to the museum in past 7 days.

“We can build a better waterfront park” – but offer no plans for a better waterfront park.

“We’re against the process. There should be more citizen input” – but they have no votes, no election of officers and close their own meetings to the public.

“No baseball park” – refuse to participate in any study of downtown minor league baseball parks built in the past 10 years.

Criticize the Pelicans for being an independent team on the “fringes” of professional baseball – knowing that the Pelicans can’t become an affiliated team until a new park is built.

Hypocrisy runs rampant in SOC. It is an elitist organization that masks itself as populists group. You are only kidding yourself if you think SOC has this community’s or your best interests in mind.

Their thrill comes from stopping anything from happening. If they win, nothing will happen.

If the Pensacola city council tries to hold public hearings, they will get millions of ideas. SOC will be there waiting for something to get suggested so that they can shoot it down.

No plan will satisfy them.

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