According to an article which appeared recently in Thisweek, some current Farmington City Councilmembers accused two individuals running against them of using the citizen comment time of the October 4th, 2010 city council meeting for campaigning on live TV.
From the article:
Council member Steve Wilson said that night both candidates seemed to be campaigning.
He added that he has no problem with citizens offering comments critical of the council.
But the difference between making comments and campaigning, he said, is to repeatedly raise the same issues, offer no ideas or solutions and make comments directly critical of a council member.
You can view both David Pritzlaff (beginning at ~18:20) and Jerry Ristow (~33:25) in the video of the meeting (note: this was originally placed in the post but it’s no longer working). Mr. Pritzlaff spends his time discussing two ‘unknown’ city workers who will be cut to save $130,000 between the two position. Mr. Pritzlaff is concerned that by keeping the names secret the city is lowering morale of the entire workforce and cutting into these two workers’ ability to begin looking for new work. At the end of Mr. Pritzlaff’s speech, one of the councilmembers said (emphasis mine), “thank you for your opinion…next.” Mr. Ristow was concerned about the Road and Bridge Fund and how the funds have been used since its inception.
I urge you to watch both of these segments (Mr. Pritzlaff’s is about 7 minutes and Mr. Ristow’s is less than 3 minutes) and determine for yourself if the two candidates were using the citizen comments portion of the meeting for campaigning and then share your comments below stating why or why not. If you can’t view the video for whatever reason, I hope I have provided enough detail of what they said for you to make an educated guess of what occurred at the 10/4/2010 meeting.
I’d be interested in knowing what you think about the appropriateness of candidates for city councils using the citizen comment portion of a council meeting for any sort of comments, attacks or otherwise against current councilmembers and/or their actions? Do you agree or disagree with the current councilmembers’ sentiment that the interactions by Mr. Pritzlaff and Mr. Ristow were uncomfortable and by not offering ideas or solutions to the problem they were simply campaigning? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.