One for the Money, Two for the Show

Everybody, well almost everybody, loves to watch the fireworks. For a few lucky folks that follow the political hoop la, fireworks are not reserved for July and January. In fact, most of the political fireworks can be seen in the spring, when the dogwoods are in bloom and pollen is thick in the air. And truth be told, it is one time that you just don’t want to be any closer to the action than the cheap seats. Monday evening we saw a little rumble and a few sparks as one Commissioner ( who was repeatedly referred to by the name of another Commissioner either by intentional slight or just plain old confusion) took offense to statements made by a citizen during the citizen comment section of the voting County Commission meeting. Now, for those that have never been to a County Commission meeting, let me just say that it is rare for a citizen to appear before the County Commission with praise or something good to say. At best it is neutral but pleading for something and at worst it is snarky and unpleasant. I would have to classify Monday’s citizen in question as one of the latter. He came with an agenda, which is fine. But his presentation was lacking a little and he didn’t so much plead his case as he pointed fingers and accused. Now, I am all for free speech but you have to know if you pull the tail of a horse he is gonna kick you. And he did.

Mr. Irate Citizen wants property taxes raised. He believes that it is poor business to keep tax rates level and deny things like employee raises. And, there are many out there that believe as he does. In fact, I believe that small, incremental tax increases that are planned are easier to swallow than the big bumps that eventually come. But, I don’t get a vote. And neither does Mr. Irate Citizen. Well, I do get a vote but that is every four years and that is why you should contemplate your vote and vote in those that have a like mind set. I will also concede that Jefferson County is in decent financial shape, much better than it was several years ago. I will also point out that pointing fingers at people who dedicate much of their time to be servants of the citizens is a lousy idea. I don’t care how nice a cat is or how sweetly it purrs. If you jam your finger in its face you are going to bleed, that is just the way of the world. While County Commissioners are not your average house cat, they can still get their backs up when you poke them. And Mr. Irate Citizen certainly did his share of poking.

I must say that when you are going to get up and address a body of people, it helps to be able to read the room. Just a little insight helps to keep everything between the navigational poles. I do have to wonder why Mr. Irate Citizen didn’t speak his mind at the Work Session but I would have to guess that it has something to do with the rolling of the cameras and the fame that comes with dry as a bone cable television. Maybe not. Maybe sitting in those hard, cheap seats has made me cynical. Anyway, Mr. Irate Citizen got to meet Mr. Furious and Offended County Commissioner and nobody was in the hand shaking mood. Now, before the exchange could escalate to a full blown explosion the gavel came down ending the show for the evening.

The take away from all of this brew ha ha? Sometimes meetings are anything but boring. When addressing folks it is usually a good idea to get their name correct, especially if you are planning to call them out. And don’t underestimate the job of our elected officials. We may not always agree but then again neither of us is right all of the time. Mr. Irate Citizen should have read the room and known where his comments were going to go. Then again, perhaps he did.

Anyway, if you missed the show this week there is still time to get in on the action. Next the Budget Committee addresses requests from non profits and there is always opportunity for a little action and some gnashing of teeth when the trimming begins.

Most Importantly, Happy Easter to You and Your Family from the Jefferson County Post Family!May Your Easter be Blessed!

Source: Kristen Depew