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Letter to the Editor: Vile Behavior at Public Meetings is Unacceptable

I’ve lived in this community for most of my life. I’ve worked for the community for 33 years. I’ve attended countless council meetings.

On Tuesday, March 6, at the beginning of the agenda item — public safety tax — the city manager and staff gave a lengthy overview of what the initiative entailed, further the city manager invited any citizen or citizen group to meet with him when possible to allow him to show where the city budget is and to suggest possible solutions he and staff have not thought of with the promise to be transparent.

I witnessed some of the worst examples of lack of civility from some speakers during public comment. For some reason many speakers did not speak to the issue at hand — public safety — but spoke in angry vile tones; even calling council members “stupid” and “idiots”.

In the country we live in we have the freedom we do to speak because of those who fought and have given their lives to do so, as well as courts upholding our constitutional rights of freedom of speech, including the right to disagree.

But for the life of me I don’t understand how any citizen in our wonderful community can feel they are doing the right thing by hurling vile insults at public officials in a public forum.

If the table was turned I’m sure those people would be highly offended.

I’m embarrassed.

Bob Blankenship, retired Redding Police Chief, Redding