You might think that kind of public participation at a board meeting would be seen as a good thing. But apparently it wasn’t good enough for some people. Today, some people have criticized the many people—including at least one steering committee member—who left the meeting after two and a half hours, because they did not stay until the board’s discussion was over. Never mind that most of these people have small children, that many had not yet eaten dinner, and that the meetings are played (and frequently replayed) on television. This was apparently an egregious violation of decorum.
One board member—who was not physically present at the meeting, but participated by phone, and who was doubtful about his ability to attend the next meeting—wrote on social media:
the credibility and weight I give to speakers who then leave and do not listen to the discussion is severely diminished. In particular, speakers who pose several questions then leave and not hear the answers or discussion of issues related to the question. While schedules are obviously an issue, I would hope folks would recognize and plan that this was going to be one of the longer meetings because of the issues presented. While I’m not complaining as I know what I got myself into, all told, our meetings yesterday lasted from 5 pm to 11 pm.What sanctimonious baloney. One can only assume that the people who did not attend the meeting at all rank even lower than those who attended but left after almost three hours. What a convenient excuse for disregarding what 99.99% of the public has to say.
I never cease to be amazed at how readily people who attend public meetings assert a special right to greater say over the (normal) people who don’t. I certainly hope those people never complain about Congress. Meanwhile, maybe we could arrange for members of the public to phone their comments in from long-distance?
If we needed a demonstration of the Bubble that I referred to in my comment, we didn’t have to wait very long.