Managing Community Input

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Here’s an email from Senator Salazar’s office that was forwarded to me a couple of days ago.

From: Richard Skorman, Regional Director and Angela Joslyn, Regional Representative for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar

Re: Invitation to Forum for Military Issues in the Pikes Peak Region

When: Wednesday, August 29th 10:00 A.M.-11:30

Where: City Council Chambers, 107 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 325

Senator Salazar would like to invite you to attend a forum on military issues in the Pikes Peak Region, including the proposed expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

Given the limited time frame and in order to capture a complete picture, we have selected 15 representatives from our community to speak directly to the Senator.

If you can attend, we will be passing out comment cards for you to fill out that Senator will read after the Forum. If you can’t attend, please let one of the representatives listed below know your opinions.

“…we have selected 15 Representatives from our community to speak directly to the Senator.”

Let’s imagine that this came from the White House. Wouldn’t every Democrat rail against the regrettable tendency of the Bush administration to stage-manage meetings, to carefully select the folks who are allowed to engage the President, to shield Mr. Big from rude contrarians, to keep the angry hoi polloi at bay?

I’m sure that Richard Skorman, nice guy that he is, did his best to choose a representative cross-section of the community. But the whole process stinks. Let your boss endure an uncomfortable hour or two, if need be. Let people scream and yell and be angry and irrational. It’s messy, distressing, and uncontrolled.

We call it democracy, and it works. Let’s not substitute an ersatz version of the real thing, where, to paraphrase Orwell, all citizens are equal…but some are more equal than others.

3 Responses to Managing Community Input

  1. This is insanity and every tax paying citizen should rail against such proceedings.

    There are a number of large venues in this city that could easily accomodate the folks interested in Military Issues in the Pikes Peak Region.

    August 27, 2007 at 12:53 pm

  2. Outrageous! How were the 15 selected? Who are they? This seems like a perfect formula to anger everyone.

    August 28, 2007 at 10:38 am

  3. It was a disgusting display. No attempt at plurality, open, transparent government, or representation, or democracy. Carefully constructed like some neocon pep rally. Only those that would benefit financially from the federal teat were invited and of course all kissed the appropriate ring and ass. This should ahve been a public forum and with proper pre-planning and notice, would have filled the city auditorium or some large venue. If Salazar can’t see beyond the lust for earmarks and pork barrel federal dollars in town at the cost of the total destruction of the poorest county in the state, then he doesn’t derserve his office. If he can’t see the answer is nothing, to his question of “what’s changed?” since the BRAC said 2 years ago that concluded that even with all the brigades moved to Fort Carson, they would need no more training land, then he doesn’t deserve his office. If he can’t read in their own After Action Report form the invasion, that they don’t even mention any role of the PCMS in training for that “success”, then he doesn’t deserve his office. He needs to get out of the middle of the road and off the fence. This is a deal breaker.
    August 30, 2007 at 8:12 pm