What came first? The Chicken or Political Elitism?
I recently read the article in the Sun Post entitled “What Came First? The Chicken or The Ordinance?” (http://www.mnsun.com/articles/2011/08/18/crystal/news/cr18chickens.txt) and was mortified at the disdain showed by Crystal Mayor ReNae Bowman toward her constituents.
She had the gall to say, “These are people who don’t understand you don’t change an ordinance because 10 people want to”. I, personally, know over 10 people who are for this. The rest must be lying to me. These over-generalizations are commonplace to how she handles City affairs. She pretends to listen, but already has an opinion that she’ll be sticking to. Don’t expect her to breech the subject with the Council either, if she doesn’t agree with it. The free exchange of ideas is not allowed. She claims that all sorts of random people are coming up to her with negative opinions toward the ordinance. She uses that same excuse over and over, whenever she doesn’t agree with you. The topic isn’t important.
She was also quoted as saying “the Council is sick of it”. Nice. Real classy way to speak to people that come to you looking for guidance on an issue they are passionate about. They get up the nerve to approach the Council about something and are told to stop taxing them with their petty concerns. If the last 5 months of the year are reserved for the budget, how do you find time for other City business? I know other City business is being attended to, as evidenced on the Council agendas.
The frequent claim that an ordinance change costs in between $10,000 and $15,000 is also not true. Mayor Bowman, however, refuses to look at what other cities have done. She wants to start her research from scratch. Why is this necessary? New Hope allows hens. Are they not close in size and status to Crystal? Mayor Bowman has repeatedly refused to look at the work that other cities have done. This seems fiscally irresponsible. For a City that has such a budget crisis, why aren’t we capitalizing on other’s research wherever we can?
I bring this up not to gripe about Crystal’s methodology in governance, but to expose a dangerous trend in government. We are no longer equals with issues that need representation, but subjects to be ruled over. Mayor Bowman is but one example of this latest epidemic that is taking over the political sphere. We will keep bringing it to light where we can, but realize that you are plenty intelligent to understand what is going on in politics, despite what they tell you. Your opinions are valid. The power resides with you. They work for you, and not the other way around. It is up to you to care enough to remove political elitism at the ballot box. That is the only way our message will get across.