Citizens also have duty to respect public officials, speaking privilege


Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

I profoundly disagree with The Call’s Nov. 28 editorial “Council leaves the people out of people’s business.” The entire premise that “everyone has a right to speak at council meetings” is conditional.

The County Council extends the opportunity of citizens to speak at council meetings as a privilege based on the idea that mature adults can conduct themselves with a minimum level of respect and civility.

When people abuse this privilege by creating a spectacle such as standing on an American flag, displaying a noose or getting in the faces of council members, it’s time for some more tangible boundaries to be set.

I’d like to point out that these measures were taken in response to the previously mentioned acts.

The fact that these privileges have not been completely revoked displays moderation on the part of the council members rather than a complete disregard.

Targeting then-Chairman Ernie Trakas as the leader of suppression ignores one very important fact. He’s a member of the minority party. Any time the social justice warriors on this council see fit, they could have easily elected another chair.

Until January, they hadn’t done so since they won the August special elections.

Their inaction and silence on this matter for months spoke volumes. Where’s their leadership?

While government officials have a “duty to listen as part of their job,” citizens have an equal responsibility in treating their officials and their speaking privileges with respect and decorum rather than throwing public tantrums in the name of free speech.

Christy Hessel
Republican committeewoman, Tesson Ferry Township