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home : opinions : letters April 30, 2016

11/19/2013 1:42:00 PM
Letter: Clarkdale Town Council: 'Men Behaving Badly'


After reading your account of the October meeting of the Clarkdale Town Council, I wondered whether or not we attended the same meeting. I refer specifically to the smart meter presentation and following discussion, which clearly indicated Clarkdale residents were for joining Sedona in opting out of smart meter installation in Clarkdale. The reporter's account of the meeting in November, with regard to smart meters, was more accurate.

The contentious October meeting set the tone for the November meeting and the behavior of the Town Council, which can certainly be described as "Men Behaving Badly."

In October, guests of the Council, no matter who invited them, were treated very shabbily; the Mayor and Mr. Regner did a tag-team act of interruptions, nay-saying and rude comments, rather than waiting until the end of the presentation and asking civil questions or making civil comments. Mr. Dehnert threw in his rude comments at the end of the discussion to add an exclamation point to the "tag team." The audience, on the other hand, was there to learn something, hear the presentation and make comments, and grew exasperated at the Council's continual rude interruptions.

The November meeting was more civil on the part of the Mayor, perhaps because he received negative feedback about the October meeting. Mr. Regner made a statement at the beginning of the smart meter discussion, then sat with a pout on his face, like a kid who hasn't gotten his way, for the rest of the meeting. I can only surmise he felt the discussion was wasting his precious time.

After much discussion by the Council and then comments from the audience, none in favor of smart meters, it was obvious those in attendance were in favor of sending a letter to the ACC asking that Clarkdale be omitted from the installation of smart meters.

The Council then discussed which letter to send to the ACC. Mr. Dehnert went on what I would describe as a tirade, to which the audience was not permitted response or comment. He then made a motion that ­neither letter be sent to the ACC, followed by a quick vote and denial of the wish of their constituency that the Council send the letter!

This Council, in direct conflict with the Town's recently (February 4, 2011) rewritten Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles (There are 11 Guiding Principles, including, "Accountability -- We honor our commitments and take responsibility for our actions; Equity--We offer fair and equitable treatment to our citizens, businesses and colleagues; Respect--We treat others with civility, courtesy and dignity. We accept personal differences and treat others the way we want to be treated."), behaved badly and owes an apology to Clarkdale residents, especially those who take time to come to meetings and participate in the 'process', and the guests who did the smart meter presentation. The Council needs to communicate better with the citizens and acknowledge that their decisions should be based on the wishes of their constituency, not their personal beliefs.

Donna Whitmore


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013
Article comment by: They are called REPRESENTATIVES

Just wondering if you know the definition of the word?

We elect them to represent US!

You do live in America, right?

Or do you think that corporations are the only ones that are supposed to own them? You must be a right wingnut.

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013
Article comment by: @ Just Wondering

Call either of the Koch brothers, or, any tea party member, with glib clarity they explain why they believe the politicians they bought belong to them.


Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013
Article comment by: Just Wondering

Why was a lengthy, one-sided information presentation scheduled for a regular Council work session?

One would think, if public information were the main objective, a presentation by someone representing APS's point of view would have been helpful. Also, those invested in personal solar energy production would like to have heard from someone more familiar with various grid technologies. Obviously, this would have required more planning, a time frame more convenient for Clarkdale residents and town officials, and more emphasis on achieving public consensus.

I thought the presentation was intended to ask the Town of Clarkdale to consider following Sedona's lead in sending a letter to the ACC--a request that could have been covered in an outline of why Sedona made this decision. The audience seemed to have arrived with its collective mind made up, but the Council didn't receive a petition indicating what percentage of Clarkdale residents not in attendance were strongly in favor of the entire town becoming a smart-meter-free zone. The Council was forced into the position of defending points of view not represented in the 200-page packet plunked in front of them. And the presenters seemed oblivious of Clarkdale's positions and efforts in the related field of alternative energy creation and distribution.

All in all, given the somewhat opportunistic timing, the appearance of being railroaded, and the amount of work time consumed, it's a wonder councilmen merely became irritable.

Where does the idea voters own the people they elect come from?

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013
Article comment by: Slater slater

Over 10 yrs ago the legalization of Pot passed
with a majority vote.The voters were ignored
then and are being ignored now.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Article comment by: Thank you for speaking the truth

Thank you Donna for speaking out. This really opens our eyes when elected public servants ignored the wishes of those who had voted to put them in office in the first place. Those big boys interrupted the guest presentation a dozen times during the October meeting. They forgot that we were all entitled to learn from the presentation and they were not the only audience. Closed minds and ignorance are lethal combination. Add rudeness, and we had a circus!

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