City officials demonstrate lack of respect

Published 8:14 pm Monday, April 23, 2012

To the editor:

Eventual capitulation aside, the fact still remains that there seems to be a dearth of common sense in Suffolk City Hall. What were they thinking?

Did they not realize that proposing outrageous raises for Ms. Cuffee-Glenn and staff while cutting the school budget might have been unacceptable? This should have been Common Sense 101.

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Instead, with the arrogance we have come to expect from City Hall, the citizens were informed that this was the recommendation of yet another paid consultant. Why is it that the administration of the city of Suffolk seems incapable of making a decision without hiring outside consultants at exorbitant costs for “recommendations”?

Is there no creative thought or competent leadership available among the hundreds employed by this city?

One questionable excuse put forth as a result of the outside study was that Suffolk should bring salaries to the level of neighboring cities. Another rationalization was offered by Councilman Charles Brown, who gave the manager and the mayor high praise for response during the tornado tragedy. Does he not realize this was the job? All that was necessary was to remove the disaster plan book, which was compiled years ago, from the shelf and implement it.

One wonders at the response interested citizens received at the last council meeting.

From the outpouring of letters to council members, irate telephone calls, as well as letters to the editors of local newspapers it should have been obvious that there would be an overflow of attendees for the council meeting. Perhaps a change of venue might have been appropriate, so that all who wished to attend could be comfortably accommodated.

Unfortunately, the decision was made not to move the meeting from council chambers, and citizens unable to find space in the chamber were forced to stand or sit in the floor to watch proceedings on television, if they were even able to gain access to the building. This is a sad example of the attitude and lack of respect for citizens and the process that pervades Suffolk City Hall.

Instead of treating the citizenry as the enemy, perhaps a reminder of how fortunate those folks in City Hall are to have a job in the current environment and a gentle suggestion that they remember “you are my employee” or “I am your customer” might be in order for all concerned.


Carol Lynne Shotton