Monday, June 26, 2017

Council meeting done well

A Council of Adults

Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting was relatively short and efficiently run. Most of the commenters were prepared, there were no bathrobes or songs, and comments from the dais were mostly to the point being discussed.

One speaker at the Council meeting Tuesday was notable for his lack of compassion and his arrogance. He accused the Council of causing an employee’s suicide by sending him a “pink slip.”

Cruel and unfounded guess

Causes of suicide are mostly unknown and appear to be variable; mental health professionals can rarely even guess at causes. If two hundred notices were issued to two hundred employees, and one employee committed suicide, is the notice the defining factor—or even a significant factor? Mental health experts don’t know.

However, the speaker assumed that he knew, and stated the cause was the notice issued by the Council. Perhaps his argument was Post hoc ergo propter hoc. (“Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.”) If he understands logical fallacies he should be ashamed: even grade-school children know better.

Don’t pick the scab

Finally, part of healing, as taught by grief counselors and hospice workers, is to allow the natural grief process to proceed at its own rate. That is, no compassionate person should ever “reopen the wound” and set the family’s grieving back artificially.

Was the decision to make this accusation a matter of evil intent? Probably not, as we know the speaker. Was it grandstanding to win accolades for his outspoken attack on the Council majority? Only he knows.

Was it a stupid, insensitive, unsupportable attack on the employee’s family in an attempt to blame the Council majority for something that no professional could declare they had done – or could do? Absolutely.

In other words, he hurt a grieving family through a rude and ill-advised statement used to try to blame the Council majority for something they couldn’t have done.

The City would be better off if he confined his performance art to singing off key and left pontificating and sermonizing to the regular speaker who wears a suit.

In other matters, the meeting went well, although only a few of the regular crew of commenters were present.

Self-appointed expert

One of the usual crew demonstrated her legal expertise by warning the Council that an ordinance they were debating would open the City to legal liability. She apparently didn’t agree with the trained lawyers who vetted the ordinance. She’s also commented about the poor job of traffic engineering that left curbs where her car’s rear wheel bumped them on turns.

Amazing education and experience here; she’s apparently an expert on both law and traffic engineering. Perhaps she removes appendices and gall bladders in her off hours, too.

The meeting was relatively short, was well-organized, and took care of business. It was refreshing to watch the Council, the City staff, and many of the commenters behaving like responsible adults.


  1. I thought the same thing about the speaker mentioning the suicide. Also, hundreds of thousands of people have been given pink slips in the last few years in private industry. How many killed themselves? Oh, we could comment back that there were already signs the young man was in trouble, how he was counseled at work about his problems. Then there was the trace element of cocaine, could have come from a medicine, in his system. But making those observations are a slap in the face to the young man’s family. This speaker should be ashamed of himself. I wonder if this election cycle will see more of this. The speaker should heed this:

    Matthew 6:14-15
    Amplified Bible (AMP)
    14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
    15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [d]reckless and willful sins, [e]leaving them, letting them go, and [f]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, .

    • I don’t believe the speaker or his ilk adhere to any moral or ethical principles beyond Alinsky’s “get what you want by insulting and embarrassing others — truth is irrelevant.” But, it’s worth a try.

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