On My Soapbox: Throwing chairs

The Aug. 22 Taylor City Council meeting became intense during the discussion of conflict of interest.

I didn’t get to attend the Aug. 22, Taylor city council meeting, but I did watch it online over the weekend.

Where do I begin?

There were chairs being thrown, not literally, but figuratively. During agenda item 11, there were verbal shots thrown between council members during a conflict of interest discussion.

The same thing happened a few years ago with the mowing contract fiasco. The difference is during the mowing contract shots came from community members to council members. Last week, community members made their thoughts known in addition to the verbal shots between council members.

Citizens showed up in purple to support their candidate, and there is nothing wrong with that.

There was constant chatter throughout the meeting along with applause and cheering.

It was quite a show.

Anybody from the outside looking in might think this was some kind of personal battle.

Anybody who has been following the council might think this was some kind of personal battle.

Quite frankly, it was embarrassing. Whether it was personal or not, it looks bad for the council, for the community and for Taylor.

I feel like this could have been handled a little more professional from the council members involved and the citizens who attended the meeting.

Before people come for me with pitchforks and torches again, let me explain.

I have no issue with citizens voicing their opinions, especially at the meetings. But, playing up the insults and cheering when the punchlines hit does no good. It’s like watching two little kids making “yo mama” jokes. Eventually, the sounds from the crowd causes one of the kids to either fight or cry.

I don’t think (or at least I hope) that won’t happen in a council meeting, but it’s still kind of harsh. Vote during elections to really make your voice heard.

I have no dog in the race, and I have worked with both councilmen involved so I don’t have any issues with either. I feel I have good enough relationship with both to be honest with them. This entire situation could have ended differently and with a lot less hostility.

A few months ago, there was discussion of addressing the policy for council members working with non-profits. That still needs to happen just to clear up the gray area. Once that policy is implemented other community members may be willing to run for council without concern for their involvement in the community.

I received an email from a reader that didn’t like our coverage of the meeting.

The meeting was two people trying to get their point across with some crowd involvement.

The story was about the facts presented and the outcome of the investigation, nothing more, nothing less.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and relax over this three-day weekend. First, I want to wish my parents a happy 40th anniversary. They have absolutely given me and my siblings the model for a successful marriage, and I want to say thank you.

“You guys are both saying the same thing. The only reason you're arguing is because you're using different words.”

- S. I. Hayakawa

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