I have said many times in this blog that I thought our elected officials were smart. However, there are wide differences in the different experiences of our elected officials. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect our elected officials to talk to us. Let us know what you think. You owe us. We voted for you. It is reasonable of we citizens to know how our elected officials think. It is reasonable that we citizens can ask questions of our elected officials and to get answers. Attending or viewing City Council meetings fall way short of communicating with elected officials.
There has been recent legislation that prevents, or severely limits, correspondence of elected officials via social media. I can understand part of the legislation, but some is overkill. However, there appears to be no restrictions of sending and receiving private email. These emails are private correspondence and not an opinion of the entire elected body. That is not only understood, but preferred. It allows communication between citizens and elected officials without phone calls at home, at night or during dinner. Makes good sense.
The blog post immediately preceding this was an announcement about the formation of an American Legion Post in Rowlett. Acknowledging that my blog is not a big attraction to City Council and probably not often read, I sent a copy to ALL of the City Council, asking for their support in forming up a Rowlett American Legion Post. The copies went to the Mayor and the six council members comprising all seven of voting City Council voting members. These are the only people you get to vote for in elections. These are the people you absolutely need to communicate with. All else are appointed or hired.
Of the seven voting members of Council, I heard from two. One thanked me for sending the announcement, and the other said they were not a veteran, but if they were, they would join. So, of the two respondents, one was courteous, but neutral, and the other was supportive. That left five that did not respond.
Now, communication is important. Did the absence of a response mean the Council members did not support the American Legion? In part, my email to City Council said, "I would like the city's support, mention, and well wishes for the mobilizing the local American Legion post. It will make you feel good." Was that too daunting a request to justify a response? Was it just too much work to send back an email saying, "Okay." Had I asked for so much?
There are many functions in Rowlett that honor veterans. That is good. However, one might now ask, was the festivities conducted for the veterans, or photo ops for the elected officials? If I use the Council's response as a vote, we have one neutral, one for, and five abstaining. Folks, anywhere else the vote would have failed.
I think there are two possibilities: one very bad and one not quite as bad.....both bad, but a matter of degree.
One is that the City Council really doesn't give a flip about veterans. They honor them because it make them look good and photos are taken that prove they care. Other than that, they consider veterans a pain in the butt. This is the really bad possibility.
The other possibility is more stupid than bad. One way to not get in trouble by misspeaking is not speak at all. I have not been told this, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Council has received some very poor legal advise to go into a cloister. Go hide and never speak unless setting at your appointed seat on the dais and keep the commentary plain vanilla. Don't engage. Unfortunately, this maneuver flies in the face of citizens who vote and expect communication in return. This seems to be Bayside all over again. I don't care about photo ops, traffic accidents, or weather reports when talking to an elected official. That's just someone trying to become relevant. I would have far more interest in other matters like Bayside, streets, tax rate, etc. I just wish I had someone to talk to. Everyone is gone.