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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Thinly-Veiled Mayoral Contempt for the People

I spent this evening at an American Fork City Council meeting, as I have many times in the past. There were a couple of items on the agenda which interested me, but that's not what I'm writing to report.

A group of City residents was there to express concern over a zoning matter on the agenda. The Mayor let them talk for a few minutes, but then testily broke off the discussion, declaring that it had all been discussed before. Since he wasn't hearing anything new, the discussion was over. (Perhaps he thought he was the only important person in the room.) There had been a hearing, he said, and where were these concerned residents then? (Never mind that officially "noticing" a hearing doesn't even approach a guarantee that interested parties will hear about it in time to show up.)

The Mayor and Council played briefly at crafting some sort of half-hearted compromise on the point, but then ignored the City Attorney's very clear counsel on how to put it into effect. They had their vote as if alone in the room, and then moved on to the next agendum. I don't know how the concerned residents themselves felt about their experience, but I was sorely disappointed.

I'm used to the Mayor's indifference to others' opinions and impatience with listening to anything he doesn't want to hear. What still boggles my mind is that he doesn't even make a nod in the direction of diplomacy, doesn't even make a serious effort to pretend to want to hear what the people have to say.

Either he hasn't noticed that the political times are changing in American Fork, and doesn't realize he seriously jeopardizes his re-election prospects by behaving in this way, or he's not planning to run for another term and can't find any other reason to pretend to care about his constituents' concerns. Either way, this constituent is seriously unimpressed. Again.

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