The Life of Riley: Why Do I Go To So Many Public Meetings?

By Jerry Riley

Someone recently asked me that question, so I thought about it, and made some notes – in a public meeting – and, what a revoltin’ development that is! Mostly, I think, it is the only way to really know what is happening. News accounts hit the  highlights, but I’ve often found that the low points are far more interesting.
Sometimes the interaction before the meeting can set the stage for what occurs during the meeting. After adjournment, sometimes there are some interesting things to observe
I’ve seen one person with knowledge of what is being discussed present new information and actually have an impact on our how our otherwise uninformed representatives may have voted. Not taking anything away from our elected officials; after all, they are our elected employees, but can’t be on top of everything.
Recently on Facebook, there have been a lot of negative comments about what our Federal Government is doing. My usual comment is, if people would have been more involved, could things have been different?
Then there is boredom. Someone came into a meeting and announced that they were bored, so they decided to attend a public meeting, just to see what it was like. It may be entertainment but it is not free–your taxes paid for it–so even if you don’t want to get involved, you can be entertained.

Jerry Riley is an occasional commentator for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.
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