City of Poughkeepsie video-b.mpg





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Published on Mar 7, 2011

February 28 session of city council.
Poughkeepsie Journal Letters to the editor - 3/9
March 9, 2011
Officials must show respect for public

My wife and I attended the Poughkeepsie City Council meeting on Feb. 28 for an open forum concerning the number of participants appointed to the Waterfront Advisory Committee. Knowing very little about the agenda for the meeting, other than it concerned Poughkeepsie's waterfront usage and development, my wife signed up to speak.

When her turn came she spoke of the danger of private ownership of the shoreline if the city did nothing to stop it and was told by the chairman of the council that she had to speak on the issue that was being presented. The manner in which he did so was both condescending and disrespectful and as the meeting progressed, he was condescending and disrespectful to others who addressed the council but didn't conform to the issue. He, at one time, became belligerent and very loud to one speaker, telling her to cease and desist or he would have her removed from the room. This greatly upset me because I believe that her rights and the rights of others to speak freely in a public forum with their elected officials in accordance with the Constitution were flagrantly abused.

I believe the right approach by the chairman might have been to respectfully and cordially thank those speakers who didn't follow his guidelines and continue. Government officials must treat their constituents with respect and dignity or suffer by not being elected for a future term. No one needs to be bullied.

Jack Shackleton



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