I attended the “workshop” meeting on Tuesday, July 21. I sent this letter to Supervisor Dawson and I would like to share it with the Roundup. The “workshop” left me shaking my head wondering about some of our elected officials.
Dear Ms. Dawson:
When you were elected as a public servant to serve the people of your district concerning the Gila County Board of Supervisors and the issues that would arise, you effectively signed up to have your e-mail box crammed with complaints and other items that people have the need to share with you.
Your comment that you are “tired” of reading these e-mails was offensive. You are now elected by the people to chair this board and to serve the people in an elevated capacity. Being “tired” of reading e-mails dismisses all of us, and reminds me of another powerful woman that proclaimed “let them eat cake.”
I was extremely disappointed in the manner you chose to conduct the (July 21) meeting. Not allowing public commentary because there were “too many” would only have informed you of how truly inaccurate Mr. Schwalm and his four supporters are. Evidently you are not interested in the history and the truth, but will allow them in their PowerPoint presentation to slander and outright lie on several issues and distribute these fairy tales as fact.
I was astounded when you abruptly cut Harry Jones off during his rebuttal, after he was slandered and blasted on his integrity. To me, this only demonstrated bias on your part of an issue that truly is not that divided. We live in a democracy where our voices certainly need to be heard.
There were public commentary sheets available and yet we were not allowed to express our opinions, thoughts, and complaints; perhaps because your e-mail box has been crammed with these things. This is an extremely passionate issue which all of us want to see resolved. When you allow only one side of it to be “presented,” while the other side is completely caught off guard with the short notice of the meeting; well frankly, I wonder just how much of the public you’re choosing to serve.
Many of us attended this meeting to gain knowledge and be heard. It was a major inconvenience for me to even be present. You successfully insulted us by refusing to allow public commentary. Our voices were duct taped. Yes, it was a long meeting. I’ve attended so many meetings that have run into the wee hours of the morning, but no one complained, or had to leave due to a hair appointment. As I mentioned, it’s a passionate issue and those in attendance deserved to be heard.
We are certainly blessed to have Tommie Martin represent our district. We love Ms. Martin and her fair and balanced assessments of understanding and collecting all of the facts and information — from both sides of this issue.
In my opinion, I hope that you can learn some etiquette from her about how to conduct a public meeting.
Jane L. Wilcox