Downtown Eugene

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Volunteer bureaucrats

The chairs of the West Broadway Advisory Committee are of the volunteer breed of anti-democratic bureaucrat. They see public pressure as a nuisance in the face of their enlightened sense of "progress". They solicit public input all year 'round, and when the public IS interested, they become frightened of the rabble, and act as if they have some sort of lethal force at their disposal.

Only five people wanted to speak before the final committee meeting. A minimum of 10 minutes are usually allocated for this, and people have regularly been given 3 minutes to speak. The chair arbitrarily decided to make it 2 minutes each, and limit the total time to 8 minutes, and four speakers -- a procrustean assertion of their authority against the rabble. The public complained, and the massively corrupted City Staff issued disingenuous shrugs, claiming no influence over a process they normally controlled like an inanimate object. The speakers shared the time, but they'd lost all respect for the committee chairs -- who generally treat the public like crap, archiving input, but not looking beyond the research presented by City Staff -- and so some public speakers spoke the length they needed to, ignoring the weak cries of pseudo-authority from the chairs.

Sham public processes must be interrupted, whenever possible, so that the public-at-large takes a closer look at unaccountable government behaviour.


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