I went to this meeting last night. You need to go watch the short video. If the city posts the full meeting somewhere I’ll pull excerpts later.
Now, this meeting was advertised as “the first step to improving relations, building trust and to begin working together for a brighter La Vergne.” What we got was much, much different.
The Mayor used the meeting as a forum to lecture us, the citizens, on how awful we are for opposing tax increases. She made it VERY clear she views the issue as City Employees vs Citizens, and that she is on the side of the employees. We are just a source of revenue.
Every time she had an opportunity to do so, the Mayor repeatedly made personal attacks against citizens who were speaking against the tax increases. Uniformed police officers, firefighters, and other city employees began shouting down citizens at the microphone about 30 minutes in to the meeting. At one point, I heard a city employee yell something to the effect of “you better move out of town, or your house might catch fire.” In the video above, you can see a large man from a volunteer organization run by the mayor physically intimidate a small woman speaking about the increases.
Those increases, by the way, have already passed over strong objections and there is basically nothing we can do about them until probably 2014. *cough* Obamacare *cough*
I went to the meeting thinking we had a leadership problem, but left the meeting worrying that some of the speakers are going to be harrassed. I now fear the city employees, which I suspect was the point. When uniformed police join in, it adds an entirely new dimension.
For federal tax purposes, I have 18 months before I can move. I now plan on doing so rather than stay and try to change things. I’m not invested enough in the community to put my physical safety at risk.
I am shocked and appalled by what I saw last night. Disgusted might be more applicable.