By Don Freix
Doubtless, readers have heard of “Stockholm Syndrome,” describing the psychological effect on those recent victims who were suffering under authoritarian injustice and politically partisan power structures working to benefit a favored few, while extracting heavy costs from the many. Victims, formerly conditioned to bow and scrape for any tiny favors under oppressive regimes, continue to do so, even when those old power structures have been decidedly overcome.
While I see those manifestations locally, I understand it takes time to begin framing a new mindset to make the changes voters asked for. Sturgeon Bay’s new common council needn’t essentially beg and plead with the city administrator to contact a new attorney to discuss dissolving the WRA. Phone city hall and demand salaried staff have the proper attorney available for questions and advice this week, and demand the mayor put a WRA dissolution resolution on the next agenda, May 15th.
Concerning a designated heavy truck route to minimize costly city street wear, instruct the city engineer to have a preferred route decided upon this week (there are likely city plans in existence), and demand a decision/action item on the agenda to get the process started. Examination of best routes, enforcement ordinances, fines and signage are needed.
Respectfully, conducting council meetings needs a bit of attention. Remember the numerous chair interruptions during the former public comment periods with a singular preemptive pronouncement that someone was improperly speaking to an agenda (or non-agenda) item. There was however, no comment from the common council chair last week, immediately disallowing explanation of one city attorney’s professional ethics concerns over WRA dissolution matters, which included a statement that arguably appeared as advice to the common council about the WRA’s “interests.” There simply was no agenda item allowing for it. WRA dissolution is a completely different topic than explaining motivations behind a professional recusal.
Hopefully, the council chair will recall that Robert’s Rules requires surrendering the gavel so-to-speak, to relinquish the chair if he or she wishes to take a position on any issue. Maybe the chair could fill out a paper slip prior to the meeting and take three minutes during public comment, explaining any issue position.
Decisive direct language from the new common council majority is not automatically being rude or uncivil. It is not automatically being abusive of the majority power. Changing the mindset of begging for furtherance of popular issues and continually being denied without explanation can negatively wear on anyone’s psyche and often will take time to overcome, but please begin to practice using your authority and throwing off the old yoke. It is as simple as standing up and stating “point of order to the chair.”
Fish Creek, WI