Thursday, October 2, 2008

Guest Editorial: Wilmer City Council

The following guest editorial was submitted to WPC via email and addresses what is needed in dealings with the Wilmer City Council.
(ED NOTE: We have added emphasis and formatting to this guest editorial.)


From the point of view of a Social Scientist:

What is needed...

A) ...a more professional appearance on meeting nights.
(This especially needed when out side presenters are coming in.)

B) ...a sound system so both the Council Members and the guest presenters can be heard.

C) ...a screen and power point projector so groups can make clear and informative presentation to the Council and the citizens.
(Many cities, even the small ones, require power point presentations.)

D) ...Council members who are willing to speak their own views on a topic and the views of their constituents, not the views that they think other members on the dais would like to hear.

E) ...When major changes involving Wilmer are coming up, each Council Member should call for a meeting of the people that have the right to vote in their district and go over the effects or possible effects of the changes. This is especially needed in districts that will be the most influenced by the changes.

F) ...At City Council meetings people should be allowed to express their views / concerns in a defined time period (3 to 5 minutes) and if the speaker is not finished, if someone wishes they should be allowed to yield their time to the speaker on the floor.
(If you cannot present your position in 6 to 10 minutes, you will lose the attention of the Council and the audience.)
(ED NOTE: An uninterrupted 3 to 5 minutes not the typical verbal brawling we have observed from the dais)

G) ... It is sad that you have to have on-duty police officers at a meeting, but in this day and age it is necessary.

John F. S. Phinney
Head ISEM Library (Institute of the Study of Earth and Man)
Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
Southern Methodist University
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Anthropology of Ireland and Great Britain

And a resident in Wilmer's ETJ and affected by the City's Decisions


Anonymous said...

One can well appreciate comments with a list of credentials that you posses, but the truth is you are not listing anything new in your point of view.
A) What you see is about as professional as they get.(no slam intended) just a fact.
B)The council chambers has a sound system set in place. All microphones were in working order at one time. It has always been the choice of the council, both present and past NOT to use them. Some have been abused over the past, by people who rented out the center and no one in city hall thought to remove them.
C)this will never happen...No one sitting at this time has any desire or incentive to move into the 21st century. (again, no slam, just a fact) The money used to install a new floor in city hall, could have been used to update any and all modern technology needed to benefit the citizens, but alas that is not a priority.
D)You are talking about free thinkers sitting at the head of authority and this you will not see, until the citizens of Wilmer vote someone in that has the ability to think freely.
E)We do not have districts in Wilmer. This is an at large council seat when up for re-election. ALL of the city and it's citizens are affected by and influenced by ANY decision a sitting council makes.
What Wilmer has is a council that is only interested in their point of view and if you do not agree, you are not heard.
F)I was told that this is going to happen, but that if a council member makes you a promise, i.e, address drug houses, illegal stores and such, you WILL NOT be able to address them, you must address the council as a whole. Well, then I guess no one should talk to a member, because if they tell you a lie, you will not be able to address it. Look, Wilmer used to let citizens address the council, then Hudson, Lange, Lowe all voted to have it removed, or screened it so much that citizens quit speaking. Lets not forget, that after you said your piece, all council members were allowed to attach you. Issues again got lost, and the council could not take the heat. We will see how this all turns out, heck they have had 4+ years to change it, better late than never. Look, this city has been held in a Gestapo type thinking for years. They embrace censorship. The philosophy has always been, DO NOT LET THE CITIZENS now what we are doing. The better it is hid, the more they can get away with.

And finally, the police are there to intimidate the citizens into not speaking out. Lange will not hesitate to have charges brought against ANYONE that dares speak out against her or anyone sitting up there.
I think that you and your wife are very articulate, so why don't you annex into the city and run for office? Its easy, its quick...Have you made it a point to talk with some of the citizens that have lived here all of their lives? Have you asked questions of residences that have sat on that bench? If you don't know your past, you are domed to make the mistakes in the future..(may not be exact, but you get my point)

Editor Publisher said...

Commenter "Just Asking" - Pretty good points on the historical perspective. We need more folks making suggestions for positive growth - there are plenty of folks already to say what's wrong with any idea or why it won't work. But not too many looking for future direction regardless of past history.

Anonymous said...

True true, we need fresh ideas. I am not sure that this council has the ???? to make the changes that need to be made. Does a leopard really change its spots. The bright side in all of this is there is always May to look forward to. Only down side, 5 seats are up and who will run to fill them? Same old people or new fresh people with forward thinking ideas?

Abu Rayhan Biruni said...

For those without a clue, a social scientist studys all aspects of society—from past events and achievements to human behavior and relationships among groups. Their research provides insights that help us understand different ways in which individuals and groups make decisions, exercise power, and respond to change. Through their studies and analyses, social scientists suggest solutions to social, business, personal, governmental, and environmental problems.

Ignorance of the leadership in the city will prevent timely changes that will be necessary to make the city successful.

"It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it hath it not."