Dear Pastor Evans,
Thanks to you and the Jones Memorial AME Zion Church for hosting the town hall meeting this past Saturday. It was a worthwhile afternoon that I hope, as suggested that day, will grow to become a regular event.
As an East End resident, it was encouraging to hear that West End residents share many of the same goals expressed by their cross-town neighbors. We all seem to agree that enforcement of city laws, proactive citizen involvement, and cooperation are necessary to carry our city forward with increased opportunities for us all.
Quite frankly, I talk a lot and sometimes it’s just good to listen. Thanks for the opportunity.
It would’ve been nice had your district’s City Council Representative, Dan Coffey, seen fit to attend the meeting. Perhaps you noticed his absence as well. Based on his performance as your representative at last night’s City Council meeting, it would seem that Mr. Coffey could’ve benefited from just such a listening opportunity.
During the council’s proceedings, Coffey complained that people in his district are expected to pay for the parking tickets they receive when parked illegally. He complained that people who renovate in historic districts without getting the proper legal approvals are told to stop. When asked his opinion of a redistricting concern by the council-created committee charged with redrawing political boundaries, Coffey refused to answer, still insisting his ego, wounded while defending the previous council’s defiance of state and federal election laws, is more important than a fair election process.
When Council Member At-large John Gonder proposed that the council put the legal framework in place to establish citizen committees and commissions to advise the council about issues in their neighborhoods, Coffey warned against such citizen participation in government, lest some concerned group of voters actually become knowledgeable and start making recommendations to the council he doesn't like.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the same Dan Coffey, after all, who once proclaimed that he'd never be dictated to by a bunch of citizens.
Perhaps that's why he skipped last Saturday's meeting. I’m not sure, but it might be worth asking him.