Politicians, local ones particularly, serve as objects of abuse from residents upset about any number of things.
Sometimes those complaints are ridiculous; sometimes those complaints have merit. Sometimes they are stated with respect. Most times they are not.
Regardless, people who make those complaints have a clear right to make them. It would be better for the city if more people attended council meetings. It would give the council a better perspective of the community if more than the standard handful of people were to make their comments during the public comment segment.
But it is not the fault of Margaret Hammond, Herbert Molano, Harry Zavos or Mike Mohill if they are often the only ones who choose to speak. They deserve the council's respect, regardless of whether council members think that respect is reflected back.
Witness Councilman Dave Weaver's tantrum on Tuesday. Hammond, during her time at the microphone, scolded the longtime councilman for not paying attention to her complaint about bulky trash items. In response, Weaver got into a shouting match with Hammond. It ended with Weaver shouting, “No decorum!” and leaving the council chamber in a huff.
Histrionics do happen in that chamber, but almost always from the gallery. When they happen on the dais, the city itself begins to look foolish. Weaver's latest departure may have been his loudest, but it was the fifth time in the last 10 months, usually during that apparently hated public comment period.
The city deserves better than this. We suggest Weaver check his temper at the door.