[promoted by Liz]
It’s nearly March and I haven’t spoken to the new BoS. Public speaking used to be easy. Any time I wanted to talk, I’d leave work, show up, and speak. Now it’s not so easy. For the first comment, I followed my usual schedule and arrived as the last speaker finished. Chairman York gaveled the meeting and I was deflated. The second time, I landed at a public hearing, not a public comment, and the next time, and the next… the comment period was too early to even try.
But I’m determined. I signed up to speak twice this week. The new speaking sign-up process is interesting. I used to call in and say, “I’m going to talk about the budget” and the aide would say ok.
Here’s what I experienced.
“Hi, I’d like to sign up to speak at the budget hearing”
“What would you like to speak about”
“The budget? Nothing more specific”
“It’s a budget hearing. I’d like to speak about the budget”
“So I should put you down for ‘budget, general?'”
“Yes, ‘budget, general’. I’d also like to speak to the Reform Commission tomorrow”
“I’ll transfer you.”
The aide transferred me to Ilene Mallory.
I’d like to sign up for public comment.
What would you like to talk about?
The Reform Commission. It’s a Reform Commission public hearing.
Do you have anything specific you’d like to address.
Yes, I’d like to address the Reform Commission.
You will have three minutes.
Great! thank you.
Both aides asked me to explain myself, and this is coming from a BoS that is “reforming government” to make sure that their clients don’t have to jump through hoops. I’d like to know who their clients are, because they sure are not me. Why do we have to show our public comment to the aides? They are counting. That’s why.