Apr 27, 2012 - Doug Watford, CheyenneEditor:
I would encourage everyone, at every opportunity, to attend as many government meetings as they can in order to get a glimpse of the true character of their elected officials.
I have never attended a State Building Commission meeting before and was interested in the new facility use policy. The policy was a response to the loss of a recent lawsuit by the state to WyWatch for a violation of constitutional rights.
I was hopeful to gain a better understanding of the pros and cons regarding policy changes resulting from the law suit. What I did learn was not exactly what I had expected to learn.
The debate between community citizens, arguing against an increase tightening of control over free speech by state government through this policy and the commission arguing for greater control through increased regulation because of the potential dangers from too much free speech was enlightening and entertaining.
Bottom line, Gov. Mead could have saved the State $30,000 in court cost and the cost of a rework of the original policy if he had just offered an apology to WyWatch for the inappropriate actions by the State. Governor Mead doesn't need to rework the original policy; he needs to reworks the line of communication within his own administration.
But the most disturbing display of the entire meeting was the show of arrogance by the Commission towards the citizens offering feedback. Most troubling was the attack by State Treasurer Meyer at Ms. Vandeberghe of WyWatch during her time at the podium for public response. Thankfully, Superintendent Cindy Hill was there to remind the commission about rules of courtesy.
I would suggest to Gov. Mead that he assign Treasurer Meyer to an obedience school or get him some courses to develop his people skills. For a first time experience it has left an impression that will be long lasting and one that will affect my vote at the next election.
How can government officials presume respect from a citizenry which is shown no respect by their governing officials?
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