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 The new face of the Ortonville City Council

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: The new face of the Ortonville City Council   Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:46 pm

The recent overturn of power in the Mass. Election has stunned the Democrats. They have been acting up to this time as if they were invincible. Pushing through an agenda that the people have been opposed to. Now when Kennedy's seat has been given to a republican they are bewildered. Perhaps they didn't realize that it wasn't "Kennedy's seat." Senator-elect Scott Brown informed them that it was the "Peoples seat."

In Ortonville there was also a change. In the election in November the people voted out the incumbents who showed disregard for the public. Who had an agenda and appeared to ram it down the publics throat. Now we sit at a new beginning in the Ortonville City Council and what do we find. Before we had consensus. I sat through many city council meetings and never saw disagreement. Tom Dorry and Bob Meyer were the only two who would speak an opposing view but it was never argumentative. They were both respectful and then Mayor Blair Johnson would call for his vote and get what he wanted because the rat pack was intact.

Now we have a new council and the make-up of the city council has changed. Johnson and Anderson were voted out. The council is more diverse in its makeup but their influence remains. In the first meeting the new council voted in Burt Nypen on the board of the EDA and an attempt was made to get Blair Johnson in also. Why? How is it that there were so many questions about how the EDA was being run and immediately Burt Nypen is put back in?

Lady Hawk wrote:
There appeared to be a solid group that worked together and showed no concern for the public's interest.

There appeared to be a group of people working together with an agenda. Not all those people were on the city council. Some of them worked on boards or in other supportive rolls. Like Burt Nypen and Vicki Oakes. Now it appears that the city council is in contrast and there is much that is being debated. Where before the counter voice was tolerated and then ran over now we have "discussion" and pressure to keep the status quo and meetings go on and on.

I arrived at the city council meeting last Monday just as Mayor Dave Dinnel was about to call for citizens to be heard. First I would like to comment on the atmosphere of the room. The seating has been changed. It is amazing how you can make a small room even smaller. Before the city council sat stretched out facing the public. Now the council meets in a "U" shape facing each other. Half of the council has their back to the public and as any member of the public speaks their back is to the camera.

Where as before the feeling in the council meeting room centered around being open to the public. Now the feeling you get when you walk into the room is centered on the council. They are the focus and the public is left feeling like they are watching a face-off. No longer are the people the center of attention. The Council is the attention. The people are left to watch. Do the people feel a part of the discussion?

When Mayor Dinnel asked for citizens to be heard a gentleman stepped up and spoke about the golf cart sheds. The council was very engaging and interacted with another employee who was there and knew about the situation. When they finished I stood up to speak but evidently Mayor Dinnel did not see me as I was to his left side and other council members may have blocked his view and started to go into the next item on the agenda. Another reason to reconsider the layout of the council seating if it blocks the public view of the mayor.

As the City Council met earlier that day to interview possible applicants for City Attorney I had information to give them about the actions of then City Attorney Craig Ash. Mayor Dinnel said their agenda was full and since they would not be voting on that today they would take home the packets to read later.

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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