I could not agree more, council woman Winters. I could not agree more. Change is the word that the people in this community are looking for. This township needs change. A change at the top as well as a change of the council. That may not be what you were intending to mean, but thank you for the “sound bite” as President Mercado called them.
Oh, and by the way Mrs Winters, I believe coasting was the word you were searching for. You are simply coasting through meetings.
President Mercado, may I remind you that you were elected to work for us? Everyone will respect the rules in the people’s room we elected you to run for us. We will address you first, rather than asking questions of the other elected officials directly. No problem there. You surely can decline your colleagues the chance to answer their constituents when they are looking for answers from them. You however, do not get to speculate WHY we are asking questions of those voting. They are making decisions that effect our everyday life. If what comes out of your colleague’s mouth is a “sound bite” as you put it, that’s not on us. You can’t get mad at us for something they said.
This stuff writes itself
Because council members don’t have answers, does not mean the question was a “Gotcha” question. Nice try deflecting, but that’s not how it works. Maybe it does in politics? However, in real life to us common folk, not being able to honestly answer Paul Krug’s question doesn’t mean he was playing Gotcha. It’s actually the opposite. He was giving a chance for an answer that could have been a great “sound bite” for her upcoming campaign this year.
Paul’s simple question was (23:25): “Will you assume responsibility (for the fact that our property taxes increased 350%) and change the trend (of increasing taxes), or will you continue to conform?”
Mrs Winter’s answer, in 34 words, if you count 9 of them being repeated a second time was; “I don’t feel like I am conforming to anything.” Only 34 words before Mr Hutchison cut in to answer a question he was not asked. To be fair, I shouldn’t say cut in. She was done answering. That’s all the response she had.
Now I am not a politician, I am one of those non-community members / peasants. However, I would venture to guess that it is a perfect opportunity to campaign for changing the trend. Maybe spin the question to something positive. Because it was answered (if you can classify it as that) in a defensive manner, doesn’t make that a “Gotcha question”. It was the perfect tee up to say “Yes, taxes did go up while I sat on this council and I want to find way to stop the trend.”
So that’s our fault she didn’t? Weird. I have to get a new playbook on these rules. Us non-community, “members of the public”, are confused on this.
I don’t want to raise your taxes (but I do it)
We already know Dan. We already know you do not take responsibility and do not feel you conform either. Thanks for jumping in and lecturing Paul again. He probably appreciates you talking to him like he is your child. “I Don’t WANT to do it…” Totally something my father would have said to me when grounding me for something I did wrong growing up. He didn’t want to punish me either. My actions brought it on myself.
You know what? My father was 100% right, but I wonder what Paul did to deserve the fatherly lecture from Mr Hutchison? Was it simply questioning council – period? Doing hours of research and bringing topics up? Maybe it’s because he is constantly advocating for Downtown Blackwood and calling out a failed 17 year old redevelopment plan. Or was he talked to that that way because he is just a “member of the public” and not involved in the community? We were schooled on how council should be respected because they are members of the community. More on that in a moment.
And this is why we need change
President Mercado had a call to Lower the Temperature a short few weeks back. As I sat there at home watching the live stream of this week’s meeting, struggling to hear anything because the audio quality is the equivalent of 2 Campbells soup cans with a string between them and the camera from a 3in thick Windows 95 laptop; it was all I could think about. I wrote about being so self important you can’t understand why people are questioning your actions.
Have no fear folk. It’s been topped. You may have noticed how I mentioned several times non-community members or “members of the public”. That’s because (54:50) we are not members of the community according to our council President. Unlike us, THEY are involved. Whatever we do doesn’t matter as much as what they do. Its so infuriating I can’t even expand on the elitism oozing from this mindset and statement without my blood boiling.
To sit there and claim these council members are listening to people, WHILE DISMISSING THEM MEETING AFTER MEETING, is probably the most disgustingly blind statement I have heard all year. To imply they are listening implies they are listening to everyone. If they were listening to everyone, they would be asking questions. But nobody asks questions. They are simply pushing an agenda through and getting irritated they can’t just show up, vote yes and go home. Now they are taking our time away from us to even ask questions of them. Read about it here.
Are these individuals, or a collective body?
So if I understand this correctly, council members are only allowed to speak if the President allows them to respond. Crazy, because I thought they ran individually? Representing different parts of the community. Sort of like President Mercado outlined how their contributions are superior to ours.
A very basic truth in politics seems foreign to this regime. People will vote for you even if they don’t like you. They will not vote for you if they feel they you don’t like them. If any “member of the public” in this town took the time to pay attention to what’s going on, not a single one of these people would be in office.
Prove to me that they like us. Show me. Go to a council meeting and questioning something going on. Will you just be trying to get a “sound bite”? Will you be accused of trying to kick the can down the road (48:55) when you ask about the capital budget? Maybe you will be told you aren’t a member of the community like the rest of council members. Will you be berated like Paul Krug was (24:10) and again at (50:40)?