Letter: Mayor reluctant to hear citizens’ views
To the Editor:
On Monday night, I attended the public hearing for a $6.6 million industrial revenue bond with a 50 percent tax abatement in Edwardsville, and I have to say I was appalled when our mayor started to close the hearing without asking the citizens for any comments or questions.
A citizen stood up to speak and the mayor (Luther Pickell) told him to shut up and sit down, there would be no questions. After some discussion, the citizen was allowed to comment and the mayor explained to us that his remarks were insignificant.
During the regular council meeting that followed, Mayor Pickell proceeded, on a couple occasions, to let us know he was sick of answering our questions and listening to our comments.
According to the Kansas League of Municipalities, the governing body conducts public hearings when considering a matter of significant community interest, or when required by law. The main purpose is to obtain input from the public.
The League also says the mayor is charged with preserving order and decorum at the meeting.
Mayor Pickell: You will never be able to preserve order and decorum as long as you continue to speak to the citizens of Edwardsville in such a demeaning and condescending nature.
The snide, rude remarks you make about citizens can be heard in the back of the room and are totally uncalled for whether you like that particular citizen or not! If you look around the council chambers, you'll see the number of concerned citizens has really grown from the three to four regulars to a nearly full chamber. Observations by many citizens recently are that our city officials are making and/or changing the rules, policies and laws to fit their individual wants and needs not the wants and needs of the citizens of Edwardsville.
The actions of certain city officials certainly give the appearance of impropriety!
I just wonder if any of our council members or mayor have aspirations of future political office here or elsewhere. If so, you better wake up because you won't get there this way!