3 Minute Rule

An interesting thing happened at the City Commission meeting tonight. A gentleman got up to speak during the comment portion of the meetings. He told a troubling and unusual tale about what sounded like a motorcycle track that is presently being operated in a residential neighborhood here in town. He has, apparently, been trying to obtain some help from the City with this problem for years. According to his statements, this track causes several inches of dirt to blow into his yard on a regular basis, and he and his neighbors are subjected to the loud whine of dirt bikes until 11:00 or 12:00 o'clock many nights of the week.

And, according to the City, nothing can be done. Leaving aside the obvious questions one might raise about the City's inability (or, perhaps, unwillingness) to intervene in this situation, I found something very peculiar about this fellow's testimony.

You see, he was speaking during the comment period. And by my unofficial timer, his testimony easily exceed twice the 3 minute rule. He was very pointed in his complaints and, at times, was fairly confrontational with City Staff. He was certainly no less confrontational than Susan Overfield, a few weeks ago.

Yet this gentleman was allowed to say his piece and leave peaceably.


Don't get me wrong. I am glad he was able to speak his mind and, frankly, from hearing only one side of the story, it did sound as though he has not been treated well by the City.

But why is this man given so much extra time without, I might add, even asking for it? Yet Ms. Overfield was forcibly removed. Does it have anything to do with what the two speakers were saying?


Anonymous said...

Of course it does. He's speaking about a "non-issue" as far as the Commissioners are concerned. Overfield was itemizing conflict of interest, dirty dealings between the city mgr., the police, the Commissioners, the Animal Foundation and how the public was getting screwed. Don't forget, since then it has been shown that the Police Chief was/is on the Bid Review Committee AND the police put in a bid.
There you are, suppression and intimidation of a participatory citizen by city officials. They've used the same tactics on other issues, SME & coal plant, to name two.
Let's call this group the Electric City Outlaws and applaud Overfield for shining the light on them, taking the heat and re-opening the door for public participation. And don't forget, it was SHE who was assaulted for it, NOT the plain clothes cop. CA

Anonymous said...

You know you are on target when you receive return fire.

a-fire-fly said...

Absolutley NOT. That would put a content restriction on speech, which the City would never do!

"According to the city, Nothing can be done..." it says very clearly (in res 9634) that public comment is only allowed when it is a matter the City has jurisdiction over, and it is a mattter of significant public interest, so...Ahh, What was your point again?

edmcknight said...

Remember the girl who could not finish her points because she was reminded she was out of time?

also, theres nothing that can be done for this gentleman?

Great falls city code

Title 8 Chapter 56 NOISE
G. Exhausts. Discharging into the open air the exhaust of any steam engine, stationary internal combustion engine, motorboat, or motor vehicle, except through a muffler or other device which will effectively prevent loud or explosive noises there from;

dirt bikes generally have exhaust pipes but not mufflers.

J. Premises having a topography, geology, or configuration which, as a result of grading operations or improvements to the land, causes erosion, subsidence, unstable soil conditions, or surface or subsurface drainage problems or potentially injurious to adjacent premises;


GeeGuy said...

The poor fellow who is being exhausted (pun intended) by motorcycles? I tracked him down and left him a telephone message. I was going to offer him a little pro se legal advice.

He never returned my call.