Your rights and interests are being hijacked by a few who think they’re better and smarter than you. Take a look at the draft public comment policy from the board packet for Tuesday’s PTPD meeting, drafted by Garrett Peck: www.dropbox.com/s/v8zipr1fwt16qpz/010714%20PTPD%20pp105to106%20pkt%20re%20pub%20comment.pdf.
We already have a policy that was passed by this board in June. A revision was rejected in July. This is the third time this is being put to a vote in seven months and is clearly a response to the public speaking a little too freely for Peck’s or board president Hurtado’s liking. Saying this is a “staff” recommendation, Peck implies falsely that there is a broad endorsement of this dreck.
Why is the executive director drafting board policy at the PTPD at all?
I implore you to read the policy because it was written about you and your rights. All of its provisions are clearly designed to support Peter Hurtado’s warped desire to control and limit public dialog because Hurtado, Silosky, Steinys, and paid staff Peck and Booth don’t want or value citizens’ participation or respect our right to it. Their actions are consistently in direct opposition to engaging the public and bringing us into the process which our taxes and votes support. This is the role of the citizen to them: we open our wallets and shut our mouths. This is wrong and none of us should accept it.
The eight provisions of the policy all feed into Hurtado alone controlling what you get to say, how and when you get to say it, and even if you get to say it at all. Other board members will not be allowed to interact freely with the citizens they represent during the meetings and Hurtado gets to cherry-pick who from the public will be “called on” and “permitted” to speak in an open meeting. I tried to pick one provision as worst but it’s a close call. Provision 5, “Comments should not be repetitive.” is short (and ironic given the repetitive nature of the policy), but worrisome. Does this mean a taxpayer can’t repeat themselves during their comment, or does it mean that Hurtado will limit opportunities to speak by saying “Someone already spoke about that, sit down. No one has a new topic? Public comment is concluded.” If already limiting a person to 3 minutes, what difference does it make if they use their time to say “I don’t like what you’re doing”, over and over? Why shouldn’t you be able to simply say “I agree with Gabby Johnson” or put in your two cents on a single issue?
The meeting agenda shows the effort to discourage the public is even broader. The agenda moves the public comment down to eighth position, after they go to and come out of closed session and after voting to make this policy permanent. Peck and Hurtado are intentionally stalling the public, hoping no one can wait around to speak. Hurtado can then wield this weapon against the public immediately, too.
The reason these few work so hard to deny free speech is two-part. First, they are awful at management and communication because they don’t see doing either well as a requirement for public service or, in Peck and Booth’s cases, for a hefty tax-funded paycheck. They have no plan, no skills, no accountability, and no will to do public good. Beyond falsely claiming that they are for limits on government and less of a tax burden for the public, they claw for power and spend our money furtively like the district is their own entitlement program. Peck, Hurtado, Silosky, Steinys and Booth are crony capitalists. The other piece is that they are scared spit-less of the people and so must cut the people out of the equation. Cowardly and arrogant are a bad and strange mix.
Will you let them cheat you now and for years to come? Please come to the meetings. Every citizen has a stake in this and has rights that cannot be denied so don’t let a handful of miscreants take that from you. The full board packet is here: www.plainfieldparkdistrict.com/assets/Site/PDFs/board-minutes/2014/Jan2014_BoardPack_2.pdf
The next PTPD meeting is Tuesday, Jan 7th at 6p at the Plainfield Township Admin Bldg, 22525 W. Lockport, 60544 (across the street from 4 Seasons Park, about 2 miles east of downtown).
Anyone wishing to contact me should email email@example.com or at PO Box 1071, Plnfld, 60544.