The minutes of the October 27th meeting are not listed at as of November 11th, 14 days after the meeting. This is what we come to expect of government, paying more than in the private market and getting less. They are finally up here.
Actually I did take notes this time, I will get to it later, but for now I am going to go in another direction. Have you ever seen this quote?
“The only purpose of a government is to protect a man’s rights, which means: To protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, an agent of man’s self defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper function s of a government are: The police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud from others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective laws.”
~ John Galt in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged
Let’s keep the above paradigm in mind as I relate to you what has happened to the request by Lincoln Justice a few weeks ago for changes to the restrictions on agriculture in the town limits. This request it seems has gone down a memory hole and if we ever see it again, it will be as a passed law. Unlike our congress in DC the citizens of Seymour are as far as I can ascertain not even privy to a written copy of the proposed legislation to comment on before it is passed. It seems that it is being constructed (if it is even being constructed) in the dark of night in the so called “Executive Sessions” rather than in the light of day of a public meeting. One would think that at a local level that we the people would have more input and oversight of this process than we have in DC and Jeff City rather than less.
This is how the residents of Sedgwick Maine interact with local government:
…The proposed ordinance was one of 78 being considered at the Sedgwick town meeting, that New England institution that has stood the test of time, allowing all of a town’s citizens to vote yea or nay on proposals to spend their tax money and, in this case, enact potentially far-reaching laws with national implications. They’ve been holding these meetings in the Sedgwick town hall (pictured above) since 1794. At Friday’s meeting, about 120 citizens raised their hands in unanimous approval of the ordinance…
Another cause for concern is the total lack of effective checks and balances as to whether a particular law violates the Inalienable Rights of any of the citizens of Seymour. Towns routinely pass laws that violate the powers that we the people have delegated to them. Then the only way to try and change the law is to break the law, go to jail, pay bail, a fine, and then spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life to take it through the courts. If the town loses they often will then change a word or two in the legislation and the whole charade starts over again. There is something fundamentally wrong with this whole process in a free society. (Actually there was a time in our history when you did not have to break a law in order to challenge it, but that story is too long for here.)
The issues of citizen input, participation, oversight of proposed legislation, and some sort of litmus test that it’s not violating peoples rights are sorely needed IMHO.
Please be patient as I add what happened at the meeting shortly…
On second thought I will save next weeks meeting for a trying a write up again.
A video recording would be much better than a write up anyhow.
*Note on executive sessions: When our government operates in secret and out of earshot of those that attend city counsel meetings – there is a good old boys network where certain goings on are leaked to the privileged members of the mainstream press. Take this article by Bob Anderson of The Webster County Citizen. I guess if you don’t suck up you are kept in the dark as to what goes on in the Star Chamber.