To the Editor,
So apparently the city staff determines what needs public input on what happens on property owned by the same public. They decide on what does or what does not need to be presented to the peoples’ representatives on the city council. Without a need to even allow the public to know about it.
Past city council approval was needed for a lot of different parades, events and fundraisers to happen earlier this year. All on city property. To celebrate the founding of our country with a parade needs council approval. To celebrate Mardi Gras needs a council approval. To race go-carts around downtown needs council approval. To march in a parade to celebrate the birth of Jesus needs council approval. To put up a Christmas tree downtown needs council approval. To let kids hunt Easter eggs in a park — for crying out loud needs council approval. But to let armed people congregate and march through town during a supposed apolitical rally organized by a political candidate and out of town organizations held on city property does not?
You need a permit from the city to build a new fence. You need a permit from the city to have garage sale. You need a permit from the city to sell your stuff at the Farmers Market. You need a permit to sell stuff out of the back of you truck around the square. You even have to pay the city to register your dog. All paid for with fees. But you don’t have to pay to hold a rally with bullhorns and speakers on city property or even provide a bond or security deposit to protect the city’s interests?
I ask the city council to take action to have city staff apprise them of all events that are requested to be held on city property. I ask them to give notice before and with enough time for public discussion to take place during council meetings. I ask them to approve any event before it takes place. I ask them to listen to the “National Anthem” instead of “Asleep at the Wheel.”
This not about gun rights. This is not about disallowing the freedom of the people to gather and exercise their rights. I will always support the peoples’ right to determine that. And I applaud the stated goal of Open Carry to educate the public if indeed that is their true reason for the rally. It is about allowing the people to have a voice on what happens on what they own. And to use their government as a venue for that voice.
It didn’t happen last Saturday.