Readers React: Stop foul-mouthed gadflies from ruining city government meetings
To the editor: I applaud the initiative taken by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and his colleagues to find a way to restore a culture of civility to meetings at City Hall.
I would encourage anyone who opposes this effort by the City Council to pull the transcript from the Aug. 17 meeting of the Proposition HHH Citizens Oversight Committee. We who serve on that committee are citizens who volunteer our time, and for the last year, we have had to sit through terrible disruptions.
At the recent meeting, after listening to a expletive-laden barrage, I used my moment at the microphone to ask for respect and civility. My comment sparked a second round of abuse.
A civil liberties attorney quoted in the article said someone’s past behavior should not prevent him or her from speaking in the future. I don’t disagree with that. The responsibility for good behavior belongs to the speaker, who can choose to participate in a respectful and civil manner.
Kerry Morrison, Los Angeles
To the editor: While I applaud the council’s attempt to rein in the extremely disruptive behavior, I’m concerned about its method.
The City Council and various commissions have the tools with which to address this kind of behavior. However, they rarely use them appropriately; the same goes for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.
More than once I’ve reminded the various chairs that the most effective way of dealing with these miscreants without violating their rights is to cut them off the very moment they stray off topic. Ejecting them when they persist and barring them from said meeting for an extended period of time is appropriate. Again, rarely is the offender kicked out, which is why this deplorable behavior continues.
I’ve been witness to this reprehensible behavior, but to bar the offender from attending additional meetings that take place the same day smacks of overreach.
Geneviève Clavreul, Pasadena
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