City of Fort Bragg Council Meeting gets raucous!
Over 70 people braved the elements to attend the February 9 Fort Bragg City Council meeting which was reconvened to the old gym, which had power from City Hall.
The vast majority appeared to be there for non-agenda items, so sat through interesting city business before several became raucous and demanded that the agenda be changed so they could speak early, rather than listening to an update on all of the city’s capital projects. The Council did vote 3-2 to change the agenda so they could speak earlier under the conditions that the rude and inappropriate behavior, which has now too often become the norm at city meetings, cease. The city police waited in the hall to assure the crowd was orderly as over 20 people spoke, most criticizing the purchase of the Old Coast Hotel.
While the increased community participation is encouraging, the yelling and lack of respect shown by a number of citizens is discouraging. It is obvious that many people do not understand the processes of government nor do they realize how important the entire agenda is to this city’s operations and its citizens. Over 60 people left the room when that item was finished, ignoring the rest of the business to be conducted.
Watch your government in action including the following issues:
*CDBG Grant guidelines to help people get support as they work to build their own businesses
*Presentation on the Noyo Center for Marine Science
*Capital Projects Update
*Parking in lieu fee waiver
*Consent Calendar Items
Please include the name of the person who authors the comments that go with each video and the date they were written.
I appreciate publication of this meeting. But I must defend the behavior of the attendees that night. After two days without power, the mostly older crowd came out in bad weather, and sat for two hours waiting in that cold room for a chance to speak. The acoustics in this venue were atrocious, and amplified and distorted every sound. The speaker doing the power point presentation, for example, lost about two thirds of her oral report, because she had no microphone. There also was no functioning bathroom for female attendees. The meeting should have been cancelled.
The level of the public’s frustration stems from a city council that has shut out citizen input and involvement, by a mayor who stated on record at a previous meeting, that once elected, he does not need to consider the opinions of the electorate, and public notifcation was only four days, although the council had worked on this project behind closed doors for almost a year.
Most of the public left early because their homes were without power, and woodstoves needed tending. Power outages are tiring and stressful, and as mentioned, this hall was not suitable. I think your reporting was biased.
I understand everything you described as we also were working under the same handicaps. As you may recall, we were the ones who went out and rounded up a PA system to ameliorate the situation. I disagree with you if you are saying the crowd wasn’t raucous and rude. I watched Lindy go into the crowd and extract agreements to calm down. I saw a police officer walking the hall after being called in by the Chief of Police. As I understand, you dont’ live in the city! Do you think it is appropriate to make city property tax paying, citizens wait while you wield a personal vendetta against Ortner. That doesn’t give you and your husband the right to disrupt the City Council. Coming in as out of town bullies, trying to influence political decisions where you have no right to be. You should be bringing your complaints to the county supervisors.