June 25, 2012


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:42 pm

I attended two meetings last week, the Community Services District meeting in Fall River Mills and the Del Oro rate meeting in Burney. I have to admit that I’ve become accustomed to the small group of people in the Fall River Valley who show their upbringing and maturity by coming to meetings with the sole purpose of wasting everyone’s time, screaming, interrupting, going off on tangents and making it hard for the board to do business in a civil, businesslike manner.
However, Del Oro Water Company had its own set of people who were basically just as loud, shouting over other people, interested only in displaying their anger, disrupting the meeting and otherwise acting like undisciplined 2-year-olds. It made it difficult for others in the audience to listen to the presentations, voice their displeasure with the potential increase, present their complaints and make their points or let everyone else have an uninterrupted chance to do the same.
In the case of the Fall River CSD, they apparently feel that it is a town square where they can stand on a soap box and vent on any topic they chose whether or not it pertains to the district or business at hand. There are times and places for everything and to waste a board and audience’s time ranting may be a comical sideshow but fails to accomplish anything but waste everyone’s time.
In the case of the Del Oro water rate meeting, everyone in the audience was mad, everyone wanted to let the company and the representative from the Public Utility know they were mad. But it could have been done civilly. At least at that meeting, everyone stuck to the issue and I’m sure the company representatives and PUC representative got the message that the people were irate.
How much faster would meetings go, how much more business would be done, how much better would they be understood if everyone spoke quietly, gave each other the courtesy of listening to what they said, stuck to the business at hand, didn’t interrupt or talk to hear themselves talk and were polite enough to allow the meetings reach a timely conclusion so everyone can go home?
There were some good points made in Burney, beyond the fact that it was difficult if not impossible to hear more than the two or three loud mouths in the back of the room. There were some good suggestions, but again, they were hard to sift out.
Unnecessary public displays of tempers and rantings may make the individuals feel important (probably wouldn’t if they could see their performance in a mirror), but it generally makes those who have to listen to it a lot less receptive and a whole lot less cooperative.
It is one thing for kindergartners to have tantrums, it is quite another thing for 40-70 year-olds to act like kindergartners with distemper. What happened to civility?

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