The City-County Observer’s staff was alerted by a passing comment made by Dr. H. Dan Adams at Monday’s City Council meeting that something “hush-hush” may be afoot. When the Good Doctor asked his fellow Councilors to carefully read the material in their packets concerning Ordinance G-2016-21, which is sponsored by Councilmen Mosby, Weaver, and McGinn, our curiosity was piqued. It was no small feat to track down the proposed ordinance, and after days we finally got a copy. Attached below is the link of Ordinance G-2016-21 link for your review.
Please note that the words stricken from the original ordinance have lines through them and the underlined words are the ones to be added to it.
Much of the rest of the proposed ordinance is devoted to putting numerous limitations on allowing citizens to ask questions or speak to Council concerning matters that come before it. We believe this dances around the edges of infringing the First Amendment rights of Evansvillians. We understand that there is a practical need to limit speaking time in instances when an item is controversial, but holding the option of refusing to hear the voice of the people being regulated is NOT in the best interest of the public.
We are concerned that transparency and accountability are being sacrificed to “efficiency and collaboration.” There are more and more items unanimously passed by Council without discussion and/or dissent. The banning of obscene language, vulgar behavior, and use of signs and posters is understandable. Muzzling the people who elected them to serve is NOT understandable. We hope that the mainstream media will join us in calling for the restoration of citizen participation in government, now that we have sounded the alarm about the ramifications of G-2016-21. We can’t wait to read our readers comments concerning the amending of city ordinance G-2016-21.