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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials May 24, 2016

11/14/2013 2:55:00 PM
Editorial: We expect better from leadership in Clarkdale

It's called Politics 101.

In some form or fashion, all elected officials, at every level, are exposed to this philosophy during their indoctrination into public service.

Some of them even buy into it.

Here's what it is: Respect for the decision-making process is more important than your personal view of what the decision should be. In other words, in a group decision-making dynamic, you're not always going to get your way. But when the group that you are a part of makes a decision, you support it, even if you do not agree with it.

Obviously, this is a lost art in Congress, where political posturing and gridlock take priority over statesmanship, compromise and dignity.

Unfortunately, that was also the gutter into which the Clarkdale Town slipped Tuesday night during its continued discussion of Arizona Public Service smart meters.

This one has been rather ugly from the get-go and last month the council was on the receiving end of some mean-spirited comments from those who want smart meters banned.

Tuesday night, the Clarkdale Council was considering two different letters that requested Arizona Public Service allow opt-out provisions for Clarkdale on smart meter installations.

In the end, however, at the urging of Council Member Richard Dehnert, Clarkdale did not support either of those letters. "This is above our area of expertise, and I don't think it would do the town of Clarkdale or its residents any good for us to send either one of these letters," Dehnert said.

To which Council Member Reynold Radoccia responded by saying his colleagues' actions represented "the coward's way out."

At the conclusion of the discussion, Radoccia got up and walked out of the meeting.

This is a far cry from what they teach in Politics 101.

Heated disagreement is healthy. But name-calling and storming out of meetings is nothing short of childish.

It's kind of like what we would expect from someone in Congress.

But we expect better from the leadership in Clarkdale.

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• Clarkdale stays off smart meter bandwagon

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013
Article comment by: fact based not fear based

obviously frankly you are confused and you haven't read any of the peer reviewed studies that appeared in this paper.

scientific facts have been presented but obviously you're too confused to read them.

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Just Saying

As a Realtor who resides in this fine community, I have to put my two cents in regardless of the possibility of negative response. I simply am going to state the facts of my experiences. I have shown many properties over the years and to some folks who are concerned about Smart Meters etc. I have had a few clients who were extraordinarily concerned with these smart meters whom work for or with an ONCOLOGIST. I asked them, why they were concerned.... they stated that they worked with or for an Oncologist....need they say more. This has raised for me a red flag to the possibility of detriment to human health and an open mind to research on this subject. Not fanaticism, just common sense research. I also serve on a board that serves it's MEMBERS. When we serve in a position that our members/citizens have voted us in to serve, we definitely serve these individuals unless we have our own agenda. I am not the person with my own agenda. I serve our members. Period. I don't believe that stepping out after a meeting is adjourned is a childish or brash statement in any way. I also believe we as humans can make statements out of frustration even in positions of leadership. I choose to look at both sides of any position and we need to look at both sides as a community and educate ourselves on these issues and not take an uneducated stance but rather look at the facts and statistics of what has happened in other communities with Smart Meters with the hope that we can come to a common ground rather than a reactionary and biased approach. And... ultimately reserve our judgment in favor of the people here in this community. Let's look at what the Smart Meters do to serve our best interests? It is better to appose a stance in the beginning stages of awareness, that could make life itself worse without benefit, than to accept it and face the potential of it's consequences.

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Consensus is good but rubber stamping is bad

Supporting the consensus is all well and good, but sometimes it can be taken to extremes, and that is definitely not in the best interests of good government.

Dissenting views are important. By understanding and incorporating all sides of an issue, better solutions can be crafted.

ObamaCare is an excellent case in point. It is entirely partisan. Not a single Republican voted to approve.

And the resulting legislation shows it. It is a progressive's idea of reform, purely what works for the values of the Democratic party only. It is legislation that increases healthcare costs while pushing political control.

Obamacare is now proving how unworkable it is, and one important reason why is because it is not a bipartisan solution.

We rarely see dissenting opinions in Cottonwood, both on the city council and the school district board, and that is to the detriment of the people.

But no one should conflate smart meters with healthcare, the Revolutionary War, or Viet Nam, as one writer does. To think there is any sort of equivalency between these issues is absurd.

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Apparently whoever wrote this editorial, just thinks people should just accept what is handed to them.

Maybe we never should have left the protection of England?

Guess the resistance to the Nazis was wrong?

Maybe we should not have protested Viet Nam?

Wait? This is still the United States of America, isn't it? We still have free speech, right?

If corporations are people and money is speech, then I would think walking out is speech too!

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Angry minorities often attempt to hijack representative government (see Tea Party).

If this minority turns into a majority by election time, then the result may be different. But scientific facts do not support their fear based anger.

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: T. Hearn

What is so terrible about Councilman Radoccia's expressing his extreme displeasure by walking out on remaining pro-forma agenda items that didn't require his vote? The smart meter letter discussion was closed, yet he got the last word without shouting down his fellow council members.

Does anyone remember the ROC's floor debate on rapprochement with Mainland China? An entire yuan erupted into a massive riot. Five Representatives were hospitalized in critical condition, and scores were physically injured. It all worked out for the best. The ROC hung tough to avoid riot spreading to the streets, and the PRC, without losing face, grudgingly came around to its conditions on manufacturing and financial aid. Sometimes a display of passion is necessary, even among the world's most civilized people--which the Chinese residing on Taiwan inarguably are.

Councilman Radoccia achieved the same effect. The Clarkdale City Council doesn't want to stifle individual voices or dictate individual choices. Rennie Radoccia simply punctuated that point (made by Mayor Von Gausig) and demonstrated the fight wasn't over just because the Council decided not to send a letter to the ACC.

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: @ Scott Carmichael

Maybe you better read it again, or better yet, listen to the audio tape of the meeting on Clarkdale's website.

The question was whether to send an official Town of Clarkdale sort-of-protest to the ACC.
The audience indicated not one of them wanted smart meters--and that it would take a lot of solid proof and persuasion for anyone in the audience to believe a government study that found the health risks were less than the benefit to the consumer. A ban on smart meters by the Town of Clarkdale was not on the agenda. The Council voted against sending a letter on the grounds it would make Clarkdale seem "radicalized" in the eyes of individuals, scientific groups, and businesses important to the town's goal of sustainable and environmentally friendly economic growth.

You don't have to agree. Rennie Radoccia doesn't. But please don't distort the Council's position in order to argue its decision.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Thank You Rennie

Thank you Rennie for caring and standing up against the bully to protect your people. We are watching history repeat itself just like in the days of tabacco. People who were lawmakers did not have the guts to say no to Big Corporation till there were dead bodies. And shame on you Editor for standing with the Big Corporation. Rennie, don't give up, you will not be forgotten!

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Politics 101....Every Generation Must Fight For Freedom...

or become subjects of tyranny.

Now, along come the editor of a "Free Press"
newspaper and tell its readership and their
representatives to behave like sheep in our
constitutional process of making laws (hopefully
based on facts and science).

But when the facts/science is not known or
ignored by the law makers (and also by the
"Free Press), the law-makers are duty bound to
seek the facts/science.

From Politics 101...I hope the "Free Press"
editor is never told by a tyrant dictator to
convert his newspaper to docile-mouth-piece
for the dictator.

Thanks and Good Luck,
Frank Henry

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Scott Carmichael

So, if I read this right, every single person at the meeting wanted to ban the smart meters and the council passed it anyway. Wonder how much they were paid to get this passed?

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Where's the voice from the medical/health folks?


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: hah... itsy bitsy wants more drama -

If walking out of a public meeting because the vote did not go your way is 'statecraft' then have fun with that.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Excuse me, Mr. Editor. That was the most dramatic board meeting I've ever witnessed. Every member of the Clarkdale City Council was pitch perfect. Especially Councilman Radoccia and Councilman Dehnert. If you think that's child's play, you have yet to fathom the true essence of democracy.

Now if only the Cottonwood City Council could muster that level of statecraft.

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: People don't want to be radiated, whoda thought?

That meeting was extremely frustrating, many people spoke out against smart meters. Each one had a different point to make and all were valid. There were approximately 50 people in attendance, when one of the people asked who wanted a smart meter not one person raised their hand, not one.

It seemed to me that Rennie Radoccia was the only council member who actually was representing his constituency.

Mr. Regner was only concerned about his reputation. Mr. Mayor just wanted to tell everyone what he thought.

Others mentioned 4000 who were not there, guess they are mindreaders.

We were there to tell our representatives what WE wanted, don't they represent us?

So its just business as usual for the corporations, and who cares about the little people? Apparently only Mr. Radoccia.

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Reasoned Approach

This editorial hits the nail on the head.

It sounds like Richard Dehnert did an especially good job of accurately framing the issue.

Yeah, the smart meter crowd somehow always seems to be connected with some product you can buy to protect yourself from the allegedly deleterious effects. Gee, what a surprise.

To Rennie, former mayor, highly respected and important member of the Verde Valley community, probably best to just let this go.

Congratulations to Clarkdale for taking a reasoned approach.

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