THE REAL DEAL
By JERRY DEAL
Add this to the message I previously published before. that is still included below.
If this is not a showing that the present administration so often ignores its citizens and is just another situation that Harlingen residents face when trying to get something done or receive some information — often forced to maker an effort to go to their elected officials since they get poo pooed away by staff — I do not know what is. Then the city elected officials cannot be found, so the last resort has been the public sessions at the meetings.
Actually, by law a city body does not have to hold a citizens session at its meetings But nearly all councils do so to show transparency and to get input to let the public know they really care.
Those sessions have been a thorn in the side of our “honorable” Mayor Chris Boswell, since admittedly there are some weird or strong voiced folks who have made their comments before the commission. So the mayor had the public input part of the meetings changed to the last items, hoping those citizens would go away, But, how much of a problem is it to listen to them for three minutes each?
Now the commission is looking into raising the city’s property taxes. Who do we go to seeking why that is necessary or to protest?
This is not to say a slight increase is not needed, there has not been one in years, while some of the streets are in disrepair, plus other needs in he city, yes even in the areas overseen by our high dollar commissioners. Try to find your representative, not possible.
Believe it or not, the Valley Morning Star is taking a stand against the action I am describing.
EARLIER COLUMN REPORT
Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell dropped the second shoe to the floor.
You may recall that several months ago he moved the public comments part of the city commission sessions to the end, obviously intending to wear down those who wanted to speak, but could not or would not wait hours to speak up. Without a doubt, it was intended to discourage public comments.
Now, “King” Boswell apparently has gone one step further, He is silencing the public from speaking at all by removing public comments from the session schedules.
You saw that right. So, what has happened to free speech that is supposed to be guaranteed, including in this city?
= This seems to be the worst violation of its sort ever to happen in the city.
Under the new rules, officials must review alternatives to the public comment period, which, as I said, was already pushed to the end of the meetings,
Puppet City Attorney Richard Bilbe has reportedly said he is reviewing possible alternatives to this free speech. What alternative are there to free speech, can you tell me?