Even One Person can make a difference standing up to a Crackdown
There was an anticipation that the end of Mayor Vipperman's
Dictatorship term would lead to relief in the Crackdown on residents and volunteers.
However, under Mayor Baroldi, it appears the screws are being tightened further. In his first "Mayor's Column" and in a Whittier Daily News article, he states his emphasis will be on reducing Public Comment purportedly to shorten meetings.
The Crackdown has now spread to the Planning Commission, where Chair Black had allowed residents some latitude in commenting, but at the March meeting, the "3 minute Timer" came out. Only one resident was present to comment on the single item on the agenda, but was cut off to "save time". Shortly thereafter, the item was passed and the Commission noted the early hour and proceeded to talk amongst themselves for about a half hour on miscellaneous topics.
The recent Planning Commission Correspondence Policy (below) is designed to further limit Public input. The Planning Commission Agenda is released on the Thursday before the meeting, but any written comments on the agenda items has to be in two days before the Agenda comes out, essentially thwarting Public input.
The contempt for Public input is also evidenced by the also recent policy of placing written public comments to the planning commission in a separate envelope, whereas before it used to be included with the Staff reports for the particular item.
At the May "Black Ops" special City Council meeting Public Comment was just eliminated entirely.
The May Planning Commission meeting saw an armed Sheriff's Deputy stationed at the back of the room, apparently for the first time ever. Despite the presence residents protested the spread of the Crackdown to Animal Keeping.
It has become apparent to many that government of the people, by the people, and for the people is being taken away, and a movement is starting to take the City government back.