Turning a Deaf Ear

Aug 29, 2011

Turning a Deaf Ear

The Bellevue City Council wants to change the way public forum is conducted at the city council meetings. They really want to stop free speech. If they have their way, you will no longer be able to get up and speak for 5 minutes or less at the end of the meeting. You will have to request in writing days before and the city administrator, Dan Berlowitz, will decide if you can speak. Having one and only one person decide if you can speak is wrong. That’s not free speech.

In May of 2008 I was able to get public forum on the agenda. According to the Bellevue Leader, I have spoken 59 times. I have given constructive suggestions, given some ideas, and posed questions that they could answer at a later time. I have rarely received a response from anyone.

All the council is trying to do is stop me from speaking. In reality, they are preventing everyone from using the right of free speech.

Last council meeting was the second reading for this new change. This is the time they allowed for public input. A number of people spoke and were opposed to this change. Unfortunately, the city council kept on discussing changes on this ordinance. There should not be a vote on this ordinance until it is set in writing and the public has a second chance to give input. This trick has been done before and is not fair to the public.

City Council- don’t put out ordinances until they are completely thought out and then presented in the manner that you want the ordinance to be passed.

Don’t be surprised if this generates some lawsuits. Bellevue has had and continues to have many lawsuits. Losing these law suites or settling them out of court has cost the taxpayers of Bellevue too much money.

Chuck Fredrick