To The Editor:
In response to the recent scuffle between the Franklin County Commission and community members, the bigger picture is that the entire situation is disturbing and problematic for those of us who are not in the ruling class.
I’m not aware of what threats that Mr. Reichert or Mr. LeBeau levied and/or what abuse Commissioner Griesheimer or other commissioners received, and I don’t care. If a valid threat was made, it should have been addressed at the time it was made.
What I find problematic is that this story is common. We are a society wherein citizens are supposed to be allowed to participate in governmental processes, yet our local and national government has become detached from its citizens, slowly devolving into an ineffective, self-interested bureaucratic administration, sullied by the bureaucratic officials themselves in order to stay busy doing nothing. We are expected to rely on their experience and fair conduct to govern the machine.
It’s frustrating and it makes me both discouraged and angry; I suspect it makes a lot of people angry and eager for their voice to be heard. But unfortunately the only discourse we are allowed is expected to be blandly polite and lukewarm at best.
Passionate arguments are considered ugly and pointed statements are considered threats. Spirited discussion is frowned upon, and the demeanor of our Founding Fathers would likely be considered threatening today. And that is why my discouragement and anger usually turns to detachment and apathy.
Commissioner Gries-heimer’s statement, “If you don’t like it, sue us,” is way off the mark. I say “if you don’t like it, get rid of it.” The only “wild threat” that 99 percent of the people reading this have to be worried about is the governmental bureaucracy itself.
If you don’t believe me just wait until tax time.