Former officials can add comic relief to a meeting

By Mike Anthony

It’s always interesting when former elected officials return to their old haunts — especially those who were unceremoniously ousted from office by voters.

Except for a few occasions during the city of Green Park’s very early turbulent history, this is a relatively new development.

For years, once an elected official was removed from office by voters — typically in an overwhelming defeat — rarely would you see that person attend a meeting of the board on which he or she served.

But in recent years, some elected officials who have served on municipal boards seem unwilling or unable to accept the will of the voters who turned them out of office.

While they certainly have the right to attend any public meeting of any board or committee, some of them appear bound and determined to make a public spectacle of themselves.

That’s the part we find entertaining, as these former elected officials strut around the aldermanic chambers like they own the place, exuding arrogance. Quite frankly, that’s pretty much the demeanor they had while they held office — and more often than not played a large role in voters removing them from office.

Out of the corner of our eye, we’ve observed these former elected officials rolling their eyes and engaging in other childish behavior when the person who defeated them speaks at a meeting. We would encourage them to grow up, but if you’re in your 50s or 60s acting like a little child, it’s too late for that to happen.

Like we said, former elected officials certainly have the right to attend any public meeting. But such an appearance quickly can turn into some major-league entertainment if they decide to speak during a period for public comment.

Typically, such comments attempt to rationalize their own defeat, serve up some sour grapes or offer “advice” to solve a problem they created.

It’s too bad they didn’t have the answers when they were sitting on the other side of the dais.

But that’s where the entertainment aspect comes into play. We’ve written many times about how lucky we are to live in a country as wonderful as the United States of America.

Only in America do we have the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of speech that allows anyone to stand up in public and make a complete and total jerk of himself or herself.

Long live freedom of speech.