Jim O'Bryan wrote:
Missy Limkemann wrote:And once again City Council of Lakewood has disgusted me ......
If you ask me, many are missing the much larger point.
I think the larger point has to do with this part of Monique's post:
Monique Smith wrote:It breaks my heart to say this, because I once publicly supported the campaign of our current mayor and genuinely believed he would bring a very beneficial management style to city hall, but here's the thing:
The mayor and some members of his administration are showing increasingly worrisome signs that they have no regard for council or some members of the public in Lakewood who may have opinions that differ from theirs. This backyard hen question is only one example in a pattern that I've been observing and have been worrying quite a bit about.
The council is supposed to be a representative body. If council or citizens or the mayor have opinions that differ, the representative body of City Council, if functioning properly--legally-- is the perfect place to examine these differences, and vet the pros and cons of any issue, in an effort to make the best decision for the citizens of Lakewood, who they represent.
It shouldn't matter if the mayor or members of his administration or members of council themselves have "different opinions"-- if this body is running correctly, they should not be able to DISREGARD opinions that differ from theirs.
Monique points out that the raising of chickens is only one example of a pattern that she has been observing and worrying quite a bit about.
My question is what are the other examples? If what Monique is saying is true, what other issues that require representation have been "disregarded" because they "differ" from the mayor's, or other members of his administration's "opinion"?
And what issues will come up in the future? And do these/wil these issues have the benefit of any outside representation from the community like the chicken issue does?
Or has the community already lost out on having its voice heard because decisions are made based on the mayor's opinion, and did he (and will he continue to), as Monique's letter states, "disregard" the opinions of others, because those opinions were not his own?
If our Council is not running responsibly, as Steve Hoffert suggests in his post, it is not just the behavior of the Council that is "disgusting." It's the behavior of the entire Administration, and it needs to be sorted out.
Councilperson Monique Smith should be supported for speaking out. What are these other issues? Do we have representation on the Council and in the Mayor's Office? We have discussed at length how the idea of representation is threatened when almost every public official is appointed, and then when they have a chance to actually be elected, they run unopposed.
The Chicken group will be fine. Their effort is well-organized, well-researched, reasonable, respectful and well-publicized. If the issue of having a pilot program was brought before City Council in their normal course of business, the advocates of chicken-raising would get their "day in court" so to speak, before the Council, which (by law) represents the citizens of Lakewood. If Monique or some of her colleagues have missed some relevant points about why hen-raising is good for Lakewood, ALL of these points could be described in the public forum of a City Council meeting. So everyone, including our representatives on the Council, would get to hear about it in public, in a completely transparent fashion. Transparency is required for accountability.
My question, again, is what are the other issues? And are our Administration and Council functioning properly?
If what Steve Hoffert is suggesting about politics in Lakewood is true,
Steve Hoffert wrote:What would that point be? Possibly that the council has offered no resistance to policies set forth in the last two administrations, a hand picked member of council has "gone off the reservation" and stated the truth about politics in Lakewood and will get chastised for her fleeting moment of verisimilitude or that the supposed pilot project is a mere plot to bait those who wish to raise poultry into believing the administration is on their side in order to destroy the project surreptitiously?
then we as a city have a lot bigger problems (with all due respect to Hens in Lakewood, and they deserve a lot of respect) than whether or not we can raise chickens in Lakewood.