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Council's average Joes creating big fear factor

February 04, 2004

Television executives who produce those mean-spirited reality shows

could save a bundle on production cost. All they need to do is

rebroadcast the Glendale City Council meetings. The way our council

conducts the city's business, along with their apparent lack of

respect for the citizenry, has huge entertainment value.

Those who watch the council meetings on Channel 6 each Tuesday

night will agree. Our City Council has become a knot of grumpy and

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mean-spirited curmudgeons. Everyone knows that public speaking can be

an intimidating endeavor, under the best of circumstances. If you

choose to speak before our City Council, you can add the risk of

being publicly humiliated to your anxiety. Here are a few good

examples.

There is a lady who speaks on a regular basis. It is apparent that

she is a kind soul who has a good heart. She is concerned about our

city, but is most disturbed that our natural resources are being

destroyed. English is her second language and she struggles with

words, often using the wrong ones, but we get the gist of what she is

trying to tell us. Do our councilmen offer a sympathetic ear or try

to ascertain her meaning? No! Instead they snicker, they roll their

eyes, and they make jokes at her expense. What bad form!

There are citizens, just like you and me, who volunteer their time

to serve as city commissioners. One such volunteer appeared before

the council to explain why her Design Review Board had turned down a

development project. Some council members disagreed with her decision

and commenced to berate her. (Paraphrasing here) "What expertise did

you use in making your decision? Are you an engineer or an

architect?" She left the podium, close to tears. But she bravely

reappeared at the next council meeting to dress down the council for

their abhorrent behavior. Good for you!

Most recently, a mild-mannered fellow appeared before the council

to speak about the construction of a new house on Cascadia Drive.

Cascadia is a narrow, winding road that does not allow easy access

for fire trucks. The fire hydrant closest to the proposed project has

little water pressure.

Since the gentleman lived next door, he wanted to express his

concern that the existing homes lack adequate fire protection and the

council should consider these facts before approving yet another

house. This gentleman happens to be in the fire protection business.

He came to offer his professional opinion to the council and advised

them to seek independent advice. However, his efforts were not

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