Let Them Speak

The city council does not understand the importance of allowing the public to speak.

As long as this situation is allowed to exist, there will be chaos at public meetings.

If a continuing effort by the council is made to constrain public expression at public meetings several results are likely to occur. One result of Council President John Hanlon’s old school effort to preside over public meetings like a disciplinarian is that he is meeting a new public that has no interest in following his archaic rules.

Hanlon also needs to carefully read the ordinance governing public speaking sessions which occur before the start of the twice monthly council meetings.

Coming before the council is made agonizing for those on the other side of the mayor because they risk retaliation and or the loss of their city jobs for speaking out.

In addition, the council tends to respect the rights of those who approve of Anthony DiPierro’s racist behavior while disapproving of those who ask for his resignation.

The council’s near to absolute silence regarding whether or not DiPierro should continue or should resign is a big part of the problem.

The council is proving itself to be a rubber stamp for the mayor.

The council does not act independently of the mayor.

In fact, the council reveals a tendency to consider nothingness over substance nearly every time.

The half of the city that voted against the re-election of Mayor Carlo DeMaria is in approval of public speakers having their say as allowed by the city ordinance.

The half of the city that voted for the mayor, and especially those on the council who do his bidding, stand opposed to the extended public speaking sessions.

Many councilors genuinely believe there is something unjust about residents having their say before the council.

Such thinking is an insult to good government.

Such thinking is an insult to most free thinking people’s intelligence and sense of what is right and what is wrong.

Mr. Hanlon, and the others, except for Councilors Stephanie Smith and Mike Marchese, believes the public should be seen but not heard.

The public speaking out to the council about how the council is a do nothing mouthpiece for the mayor is a situation that should not be allowed.

This explains Hanlon’s near hysteria to control meetings in the forlorn hope he can mitigate the rising crush of residents crying out for council action about racism, sexism, theft and every form of municipal corruption.

Instead of silence and subservience to the mayor’s shameful behavior, public speakers are demanding action from the council.

Yet the council remains unresponsive.

Removing the mayor’s fake longevity payment of $40,000 a year when it should have been $2,500, should have been considered a high moment for the council – but it wasn’t.

Nearly everyone on the council understood that the $40,000 payment to the mayor yearly was a fake or a fraud or both.

Now that the mayor has proven that contention by not taking the payment this year, the council felt justified in stripping him of the payment.

However, the council refuses to broach the subject of the mayor paying back the money he already received.

Only the public speakers will do this.

That is why Hanlon doesn’t want them to speak.

Hanlon is more concerned doing the mayor’s bidding than righting a wrong.

At 88, Hanlon does an admirable job but in this instance, he is staining his reputation trying to disrupt the council’s public speaking sessions.

At the last meeting, the public became vocally and physically disobedient, shouting and yelling at the council as the council tried to pretend that the public speaking session was over.

We urge the public speakers to exercise their right to speak to the council to address their complaints.

It is about time the city council spoke up about racism.

It is about time the council asks its colleague Anthony DiPierro to take a hike and to take with him his venal form of racism and hate.

To do anything less, is a crime for this city council.

In fact, doing nothing is the crime.

Leave a Reply