(Editor’s note: The following email was sent to Hillsboro city commissioners March 7 and forwarded to the Banner with the request that the email appear as a letter to the editor.)
Dear President and City Commissioners,
As you well know I’ve been at a few commission meetings and have been watching bits and parts of them for some period of time now. I have even read random meeting minutes for several years as I want to stay informed as I can of city happenings.
As a citizen of Hillsboro, it irritates me that the commission continues to allow two members of the public to enter into discussions with the commission as quasi-commissioners and give the appearance, or even direct statements, that they speak for a group of citizens in town.
If they are speaking for a group it should be publicly stated what group of citizens this is or their words should only speak for themselves and those that publicly announce their agreement
I did not, nor have the citizens of Hillsboro that I’m aware of, elected/appointed those two to speak on behalf of the city public to the current commission.
Granted they make the effort to attend the meetings and likely at times have good input, but this is not to take place during a commission meeting unless it is a public hearing or during the assigned agenda time frame for public statements/input.
I think too much leeway is given to them and it causes them to become quite disruptive as they did in the meeting (March 6) about an item that wasn’t even in discussion at that point of the meeting and had been previously addressed.
Yes, I see the irony of this as my wife, Sara, did make use of this leeway after getting the commission’s approval to speak out during discussions as well.
I would also like to point out that the two in question did speak in hushed tones and did mention Sara’s name while she was speaking to you, if you recall she turned and gave them a glare and they stopped speaking for a few seconds and resumed when she returned her attention to the commission.
If they can’t speak whatever they had to say about Sara and whatever they were discussing out loud then it shouldn’t be spoken at all in a public forum.
The city commission has every right to limit and shut down their discussion with the commission except in the open public comment assigned on the city meeting agenda, which still is leeway to limit amount of time given as well in that period.
The right to attend the meeting does not give you a right to speak.
Along with these interruptions the fact that they are bullying (city auditor) Ashley (Frederick) who is required to have her input in the meeting as part of her job is disconcerting to me that the commission and commission president continue to allow this behavior to keep occurring.
Everyone has their own opinion on how Ashley is doing her job but that is not an item to be raised and discussed at nearly every commission meeting, nor does it give the right of a minute percentage of the public to demand her firing in a public meeting and belittle her using bullying tactics.
To add to the bullying, after the meeting, I was made aware that these specific two citizens went and badgered each of the commissioners and city attorney J.R. Strom demanding them to fire Ashley after they provoked her into saying the statements that she did whether anyone agrees with her or not, that was a total provocation by them and appears to be a concerted effort to try to make something happen to get Ashley to lash out.
Would add additional concerns to the mettle of this commission if they were to cave to this sort of meddling in our City Hall by again only two citizens.
To that end, I find this continuing behavior unacceptable as I have not heard one good legitimate reason, other than the appearance that they don’t like her, as to why they want her fired and until they make those reasons public with a public statement any referencing to the firing of Ashley should constitute reasonable cause to allow immediate action by commission to remove them from the meeting.
It is well within the commission and commission president’s power to do so when a citizen is blatantly being disruptive to a public meeting.
No matter their background, tax payment sizes aggregate or annual, retirement fund account balance, or whatever item they may use to try to make themselves “feel” better than the people around them or makes their opinion the “best,” in the end their vote counts the exact same as mine and every other voting citizen in Hillsboro and want to state very clearly that people who act like this never speak for me whether I agree with them or not.
It’s humorous to me that they didn’t speak about this financial wealth during (a previous public hearing attended by Joyce Gilbertson)and stepped up and offer a tiny speck of this financial freedom they enjoy to someone who clearly needs it.
If no one could have any compassion and sympathy for her situation but turn around and use money as a statement of “I’m better than you” 10 minutes later is not a compassionate human and is not worth listening to.
Appreciate your time if you got this far and your service on this commission and hope that instead of being distracted by .1 percent (yes that 2/1624, based on the Google search of Hillsboro’s population) of the Hillsboro population, you will focus on what the town needs not only now but moving forward into the future, and that these disruptive matters get addressed moving forward and definitely is addressed in the next commission meeting. If not you can expect to continue seeing and hearing from me.