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Thoughts from the 6/6/17 Council Meeting

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buddhalite View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 9:01pm
Alright,

So with the few of you who constantly criticize my posts out here and tell me I'm not knowledgeable about the things of which I speak, I put my money where my mouth is - and I went and suffered through a 45 minute council meeting.

Yep - 45 minutes.  My first thought at the end of the meeting was - wait, with all the problems our fair city seems to have - this is it?  Sure, there was an executive session - but I was left feeling kind of empty and hollow.

Now - here's my play by play of the session - these are my unedited notes and written as the experience unfolded - kinda haphazard, but an interesting read nonetheless:

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Just got my seat - was worried that I'd have trouble finding a seat, but no.  In fact, I could lie here and take a nap and no one would have to give up a seat.  Getting interesting looks from folks on the council.  Feel like everyone quit talking for a few seconds when I walked in - like when the bad guy from every old spaghetti western walked through the swinging doors of the saloon.

Meeting starts in 5 minutes - wow - great turnout for this here meeting.  There's, let's see......1, 2, 3......4 people in the gallery.  Wow - I thought more people cared about this than that.  I guess the folks on the forum have either given up or are just too busy to bother.  At least I am here.

There's a big ol' boy sitting on the back row who seems to know the folks here...i'm assuming the guy with the gun must be with the police.  It's not Chief Muterspaw - looks like Lt. Cunningham?  Not sure why he's here.  Seems out of place - maybe security.  Don't know.  There's a guy in a red polo who seems like he's here just to get an award.  Think he knows everyone here but me.  

Meeting starts and there's an awkward meditation moment which was so short it really didn't qualify to be a moment - more like a few seconds of casual meditation (which kinda offends me, but I'm gonna let it go) - followed by the pledge f allegiance.

The guy in the Red is apparently the owner of a local company getting an award from the mayor for many years of employing people in the city.  Shocking to me that there's not a bunch of people here to see him receive the award and that his employees wouldn't be there to cheer him on.  Odd - in my last city - the gallery would have 100 people or more just to see that part happen.  Where's everyone from MiddletownUSA?  Why aren't they here?

The manager's report is next.  Let's see this guy in action!  Liquor permit on Yankee.  Apparently there's a bunch of crime in that area (not sure which part of Yankee) - but wait.  There's already liquor permits in the area, so what's this going to stop if it's not approved?  Moon wants to know the hours of operation - Adkins said its retail sales - not open container - so hours are not really a concern.  Adkins to reach out to applicant and pass along more info to council.

Sidewalks are next.  Street paving.  City going to hold to sidewalks on both sides of streets.  Whoopee.  I guess if you don't have them yet - and they're gonna make you put them in - you probably won't be happy.  I already have mine - but they're about to tear 'em all up and whatnot - let's see the assessment for that.

Sawyers/Ryan homes apparently wants to build homes here in Middletown.  Adkins appears ecstatic (i guess that;s the emotion he's showing - he hasn't really shown much emotion yet) that they want to build here and they want to build the type and price range of homes that he wants to see here.  Council is supposed to get a bus and go to Amelia and look at the kind of neighborhoods they build (and specifically what they look like 10 years after building).  Methinks that's nice - but where on earth are they going to build these homes?  No talk of how much east end land the city will have to annex just for another development.

Adkins passed out a sheet of paper - should have requested one, but I don't think it really worth the effort) to council with a bunch of priorities for them to rank high/medium/low for next years discretionary monies (which it didn't seem like was a sure thing - just an expectation because of some Greentree Road TIFF that the newly passed HB384 will allow them to take excess generated funds and spend them elsewhere.  AH - I think I see where one thing that was pointed out to me very early on is quite accurate.  They don't even know for sure if they money will be there - but let's figure out how to spend it now.  I guess they'll just spend it anyway - if you're making plans a year ahead you must be pretty committed to spending it.  Adkins just said it could be as much as 700k - but a moment ago it was 300k - I'm confused.  HERE's THE KICKER!  The bill was passed on 4/30/17 - They have until 6/30/17 to decide and make plans legally to shift the monies in advance....doesn't make sense.....but it took them a month plus to get it to council - so next time it's going to have to be an EMERGENCY and enact read.  ARGH!

Consent agenda approved.   Yawn.  I guess - acceptance of committee minutes - they weren't there to read or peruse - maybe they were on the website and I missed them.

Council comments.  YAWN again.  Picard says he's not running for reelection - something about retiring and moving somewhere - can't hear him all that well.  The rest were boring.

Granting of parcels to citizen who found her house was divided amongst at least 4 parcels of land - granted.  Who's the dummy that ever let this nonsense happen - but I agree with Adkins - who cares about who did it - let's fix it and give her those lots - and the city has no worries over it.

Legislation - Legislation - Legislation!!!!!!!!  Why am I excited about this part?

22 - Jjurgenson road work - declared emergency - but wants no action until next meeting.  WTF?  I am confused - if it's an emergency get it over with and do what you gotta do.  If not - the requisite readings would have been made anyway.

23. Dogs at large - aligning city laws to state laws and rabies protocols.  Ok - but maybe if we let a rabid dog loose in here council would show some life.  They all look like they're at a funeral or something.  If there's something in this agenda that deserves to be an emergency - it should be rabies prevention - not some crap road work.

08. Downtown master plan - GOODIE!  Now we should get some action - great the vice-mayor is speaking - about an egg hunt?  She's soliciting workers for an egg hunt 9 months away during the discussion of a master downtown plan?!?!?  One councilperson is now asking about how it affects redevelopment when the plan specifies the types of benches, the street lights, the colors, etc.  No one seemed to have an answer or care.  BRAVO!  Way to handle that.

09.  What if visioning.  Someone needs to explain this quickly before my brain explodes.  That's not even a valid sentence - let alone a valid THOUGHT!  What the crap is it - and before there's even any discussion we move. on. again. like. there's. nothing. worth. talking. about.

Executive session time!  Elapsed time 45 minutes.  Nothing really happened - nothing occurred and nothing was passed and nothing was accomplished - well, we did recognize a local business - hoorah for the them - but screw it I just wasted my time.

-------

There you have it.  I just thought it would be interesting to post this - my first meeting and I was quite disappointed.

Bob




Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 9:33pm
Bob:

"Meeting starts in 5 minutes - wow - great turnout for this here meeting. There's, let's see......1, 2, 3......4 people in the gallery. Wow - I thought more people cared about this than that. I guess the folks on the forum have either given up or are just too busy to bother. At least I am here."

Bob:

"Where's everyone from MiddletownUSA? Why aren't they here?"


Bob, your report and, at times, your disgust with what is happening not making sense or boring you, just answered your question as to why people don't show from this forum or the community.

We already have attended enough meetings to know that it is an hour out of your life wasted that you will never get back. A nap on the couch after work is of more value to a person than wasting gas to drive downtown and sit on those hard benches just to be bored. Did anyone take advantage of the three whole minutes Mulligan gives you to speak at the podium?(I like when the wall lights go on to tell you they have had enough) No one enjoys getting cut off if they speak against the city. Mulligan doesn't like that. I have asked for a response at times after speaking and I have yet to have a council person respond. They all sit there in silence like mannequins. Maybe Sir Lawrence doesn't allow a response.

Oh, you mentioned that the council members looked bored. Naw, that's not boredom.....their waiting for their cue to say "yea" and rubber stamp something as they are instructed to do. No need to think. Not even a need to ask a question or be inquisitive. Just say "yea" when the vote is called.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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buddhalite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 10:36pm
Bob, your report and, at times, your disgust with what is happening not making sense or boring you, just answered your question as to why people don't show from this forum or the community. 

VietVet, I find it interesting that there's plenty of folks here who want change - but as you say have given up and quit going.  That's no way to lead change - change doesn't happen when people give up.  You gotta fight.  Even if it means showing up and speaking up even to deaf ears.  You can't rally the troops when they didn't show for roll call!

Did anyone take advantage of the three whole minutes Mulligan gives you to speak at the podium?

I would have, and should have, but I didn't look at anything before I went, and I didn't know the order of events and the rules - and was taken aback by the form you have to fill out to be able to speak - so I didn't and no one else did.

I have asked for a response at times after speaking and I have yet to have a council person respond. They all sit there in silence like mannequins. Maybe Sir Lawrence doesn't allow a response. 

In my experience in other cities - the communication is always one-way when it comes to citizen comments unless a member has a question.  I've rarely seen such two-way communique unless someone makes one heck of an accusation during a meeting.  That doesn't bother me so much.

No need to think. Not even a need to ask a question or be inquisitive. Just say "yea" when the vote is called.

It really appears to me that there's no discussion - because everything has already been discussed.  Whether via email, text, phone, face-to-face or whatever - it's the same that I have seen elsewhere in my experience as well.  In my experience elsewhere - the only time there's discussion is when the citizenry is up in arms about something or there's a huge crowd at the meeting and it's just political posturing for re-election purposes.

I am committing now to making all further council meetings - and now that I know the lay of the land, I'll start being more vocal.  Yes, VietVet, I know in your opinion it is a futile effort - but you have to start somewhere - and I encourage others to join me.  If nothing else - we can stonewall them 3 minutes at a time until we start seeing some change.

Bob
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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middletownscouter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middletownscouter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2017 at 8:41am
Originally posted by buddhalite buddhalite wrote:

Consent agenda approved.   Yawn.  I guess - acceptance of committee minutes - they weren't there to read or peruse - maybe they were on the website and I missed them.

On the city website a "workbook" is posted in advance of the council meetings that includes all that extra documentation like other committee minutes for review, etc.  http://cityofmiddletown.org/council/meetings.aspx
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2017 at 10:04am
Thanks scouter - I should have checked that out before I got there.  Geek
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)
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