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This was a beautiful thing to watch. Fifty or so village residents filled meeting room and they were allowed to express their opinions. The result was that board voted to delay their decision until September so that they might be allowed to review information that was presented.
At first I was elated. Then reality set in. I began to realize that to fight power you need power. Money equals power. What if Rommy Lopat and John Drummond could not afford to bring in expert witnesses? I think citizens would have been quickly rolled over and buried. This is way, I realized, that government works. You must have power to be heard.
The awful truth is that I leave meetings feeling that we had just done battle with opposition. We always lost. I felt that outcome was predetermined, that board attitude is a bit condescending. I do believe that, generally, boards feel they have a duty to public to help public, but I think they also think that we citizens are uneducated and bothersome, like mosquitoes which must be squashed to be quieted.
Maybe your local boards DO listen to you. Maybe Richmond's boards are rare exception. But I think not. I think that most boards around entire country reflect attitudes of Richmond boards: citizens are nuisances to be endured because law says they must endure us.
Why are boards so adversarial in nature? Does it have to be that way? Do we not, as taxpaying citizens, deserve to be listened to CAREFULLY and HONESTLY?
It's time to stand up and be counted, folks. Do go to your local board meetings, if only to show them that you are watching!
Greg Cryns is the owner of Domain Country and many other websites. Over the years he has learned how to obtain high rankings in the major search engines.
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