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General News · 21st March 2012
Richard Jacobs
Dear Noba,

In New York, marching up Broadway with 35,000 others, the call-and-response went:

“Tell me how democracy works!”

“THIS IS HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS!”

I take great exception to your notice in the Cortes Marketer of March 16.

Bertha has let the community know many times that it makes her job
difficult when individuals do not sign their comments for publication. She has, however, kept the forum open so it can be used by individuals who do. The public good of the forum she provides outweighs the damage done by the necessary evil of giving voice to the nameless mob.

As an elected public official representing these very same people, both those who sign and those who don’t, you have given up the right to abstain from this discourse. You are to be commended for being available through the forums you provide, and list in your notice, but this is your job. This is the clean and tidy part. Unfortunately, this is not a clean and tidy world. In this world, you additionally make time and budget so as to allow you to come to the people in their own forum. To declare yourself unavailable to public debate, as an elected official is, at a minimum, being disingenuous. Worse, it is the inverse evil of not signing one’s statements. You absent yourself from the debate. You don’t have this luxury in a democracy. I am extremely surprised and saddened to hear that you think you do.

I attended a hearing on January 14 at Gorge Hall regarding the installation of ninety mechanized rafts in Gorge Harbor, which you chaired. I spoke at this hearing. I, and others, voiced concerns that the matter was pre-determined, which you assured me was not the case.

In your subsequent email and Tidelines posting you acknowledged that while “most if not all” Gorge Harbor residents opposed this plan, it was nevertheless approved unanimously. You offered no elaboration. To the best of my knowledge you have not addressed the matter since.

“If you intend your questions and comments for me, please address them to me. If you intend them as a public ‘conversation’ so be it, but do not await my participation.”

Not good enough.

I do indeed intend this as a public conversation. That’s what it is. And I do indeed await your participation. By taking elected office, you gave up the right to pick and choose all forums of debate. You go where the fight is. This is what you signed up for. How could you not realize this? And how could you insult the intelligence of the people of Cortes, both those who voted for you and those who did not, by suggesting otherwise?

If you are to maintain any credibility, not to mention provide transparency as to how this decision was reached, and, it would follow, how you perform your duties, it’s your job to address this matter. Publicly.

I signed my posting in Tidelines that addressed this. I signed the notice I purchased in the Marketer. Kathy Francis responded. Where are you?

Signed,
Richard Jacobs