“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” — George Orwell proposed preface to “Animal Farm.”
“All political power is inherent in the people” — Article I, Section 2, Iowa Constitution.
“No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech” — Article I, Section 7, Iowa Constitution.
As a former Manchester City Council member, I am troubled by the council’s recent rule changes which restrict the right of a constituent to fully address the City Council on any issue at a regular meeting.
If the mayor, city manager and city council are opposed to and/or bothered by listening to their constituents regarding any concerns presented at any regular meeting, they should resign and allow someone else to take their place. Their primary responsibly, as a member of the governing body, is to listen to and serve their constituents and hear their concerns. They do not have to agree with or act upon the constituent’s stated views or concerns, but I believe they have a duty to listen.