29 August 2007

KingCast and Liko Kenney both admire Civil Rights, Freedom and the old BMW.

Interesting, n'est-ce pas? Same car, the E28-body BMW 5 series. The bumper of Liko's reads: "Legalize Freedom," whereas mine similarly read "CIVL RTS."

Two concepts rapidly disappearing from the American Landscape, particularly in Franconia where folks have to deal with a bought-and-sold politician like State Rep. Martha McLeod, in bed with law enforcement and Shooter Floyd from the get-go.

Related post: The lawsuit.
Related post: The brother I never met.


Anonymous said...

Legalize freedom is right. We are fighting to exercize our civil rights and many act like it is a crime.

Christopher King said...

If it walks like a duck.....

Yes it is far too often a crime to stand up for your Civil Right in America.

While our young men and woman are busy dying in Iraq, ostensibly so that the Iraqi people can have freedom.

Funny, I have met dozens of U.S. Soldiers who relate to this blawg and support it because even though many of them DO NOT like Dubya' they DO believe that they are fighting for the right thing in some measure, and they would hate to see our government offer us less than what it promises.


Christopher King said...

Sometimes you've just gotta' sue 'em:

Telegraph editorial 4 Feb. 2007:

"Has the United States reached such a point of political correctness and potential lawsuit aversion that we are willing to give up essential liberties for the sake of avoiding uncomfortable debate?

Apparently so in Nashua, a least until the threat of a real lawsuit looms.

Nashua Board of Education members unanimously voted last Monday to eliminate a year-old restriction on public comments at their meetings. The limits, both vague and potentially unconstitutional, prohibited citizens from discussing “administrative and personnel-related problems.”

In any public or private enterprise “administrative and personnel-related” issues cover a great deal of territory. Interpreted broadly, the policy could have been used to shut out public comment on almost any issue brought before the school board.

The rule went largely unnoticed until October 2006 when Paula Johnson, a former alderman, was told she could not speak about Superintendent Julia Earl, who was, and still is, on paid leave.

Two more months passed before Nashua resident Chris King again attempted to speak about Earl during a December meeting. When he was told to stop, King’s response was a pledge to get the policy revoked.

The school board began an internal review of the rule, but received vastly differing opinions from city and outside attorneys, and appeared themselves to be split on the issue.

To justify the policy, several board members cited the potential for defamatory speech by members of the public targeted at school employees.

While anything is possible, it is a thin excuse and a legal leap of faith to assume the school board could be held liable for such behavior. Nonetheless, several of the board’s lawyers backed up this contention.

So King, who has practiced as a lawyer in Ohio, threatened his own lawsuit against the board and came within hours of filing the paperwork. The suit was avoided when the board called a policy committee meeting, leading to the vote last week to change the rule.

The about-face on the part of the school board is to be praised as a common sense decision. However, more praise would be due if the change had not been due largely to outside pressure and the threat of a lawsuit.

The school board, and its attorneys, would be well served to remember who the public in “public comment” is: their employers, the taxpayers.

The school board has done the right thing, but the impression we are left with is that many members did it grudgingly. The board needs to change its thinking and reframe its approach when dealing with the public.

Yes, there should be rules enforced to maintain a civil and productive public debate during governmental meetings.

However, there is no excuse for imposing rules out of fear at the expense of an open and public discussion of the issues.


BACKGROUND: The Nashua Board of Education, under threat of a lawsuit, has reversed its previous policy of not allowing members of the public to comment on school personnel during the public comment section of its meetings.

CONCLUSION: The school board has done the right thing and this should be a first step in reframing how the board deals with the public.