A Doug's Life: All I Ask is a Little Respect -- and Not for Me

Pardon my ignorance, but will someone please tell me when respect and common courtesy went out of st...

Pardon my ignorance, but will someone please tell me when respect and common courtesy went out of style? Apparently, I never got the memo.

I think I can remember the last time I heard someone express respect for another's opinion, but the memory is fading. Anyone else notice that people these days are far more likely to tell you why you're wrong than why they're right? Even worse, they're downright nasty about it.

The most extreme examples are in the political arena or anything involved with government. I mean, there are no two sides to an issue anymore. Either you see it my way or you're an idiot, right?

Yeah, that's a real adult attitude.

Take the current presidential race, for example. I refused to watch any of the Republican or Democratic national conventions, simply because character assassination isn't tremendously appealing to me. Just seeing the many rants on Facebook is more than enough for me. If a candidate spends half his time telling me how bad the other guy is, I'm thinking he's pretty darn insecure himself. Whatever happened to stating your beliefs clearly and letting me decide whether you're better suited for the job than your opponent?

But as bad as this whole Romney-Obama showdown is, it pales in comparison to what goes on every other Tuesday in the Menifee City Council Chambers. You want to see and hear bitterness and hatred? Stop by City Hall just after 7 p.m. on Sept. 18. Sadly, it's guaranteed.

And this time, the politicians aren't the main culprits. It's people who live and work right alongside us here in Menifee. I call them the Haters -- that small group of residents who show up at every meeting, determined to use their three minutes of fame to denigrate, humiliate and castigate council members.

City policy allows residents three minutes each to speak during the "public comments" portion of city council meetings. At various points of the meeting, they are allowed to address issues not on the agenda and to speak during public hearings on a specific subject. The last line of Menifee's "decorum policy notes" at the end of each printed agenda states that "while we encourage participation, we ask there be a mutual respect for the proceedings."

Good luck with that.

From what I can determine, the Haters have made it their mission to disrupt city council meetings ever since Menifee voters approved cityhood in 2008. Most of these folks are residents of Sun City, and it's obvious they wanted to stay that way and not be placed under the umbrella of a Menifee government with which they don't agree.

I can understand where they're coming from. Sun City was a relatively quiet, rural community of mostly senior citizens for decades. But in the last 10 years, new housing has cropped up all over the place. Without meaning to, young families are starting to surround the old folks. The resulting demand for growth has led to the arrival of new businesses and traffic that is at times unbearable.

Fine. I get that.

If I were in their position, I'd be frustrated, too. I might even share their belief that the "pro development" faction of the city council outnumbers the "traditionalists" 3-2 in most votes. Yeah, that would probably stick in my craw.

But I darn sure wouldn't embarrass myself the way many of these folks do during their three minutes of "fame." I mean, what does it prove, other than you can't control your emotions?

There's a whole list of these people who speak at every city council meeting, whether they have a legitimate gripe or not. After a while, it becomes clear that their purpose is not so much to address specific issues as it is to attack certain council members out of frustration and hatred. You hear these people often enough and their credibility goes right out the window.

No one is claiming that Menifee city council members are perfect, or that they always make the right decisions. But no one deserves the kind of treatment these politicians are given on a regular basis. It's cruel, unprofessional and childlike, and it's an embarrassment to others who have to sit through it week after week.

You don't agree with something the council does? Fine. State your case. If you absolutely disagree with something a council member has said or done, express your feelings in a respectful manner -- being respectful not just because the council member is a public official, but because he or she is a human being. Believe it or not, it can be done.

Because of public meeting protocol, council members do not respond to public comments. They have to sit there and take it while the locals take pot shots at them. To a degree, that's part of the job. But when someone calls you out, attacks your political party beliefs or uses sarcasm in an attempt to humiliate you, it's time to clear the room.

If you ask me -- and I know the Haters didn't -- a little respect would go a lot further than personal attacks against these public servants. Don't like what they're doing? Don't vote for them in the upcoming election. That's your right.

But while they're still in office -- and if they remain in office come November -- try some constructive criticism for a change. Really, it should not be about the Haters and their personal issues. It should be about what's best for all of Menifee. And that will only come about if common decency is observed.

Related

Doug Spoon 4801363983866122529

Post a Comment

  1. Interesting, you want respect, but show little respect by saying that a certain element are "haters". I'll ask the same question, where has respect and civility gone to. They seem lost on you Mr. Spoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “If you ask me -- and I know the Haters didn't –“
      I guess Mr. Spoon you should have checked with the haters first. They need to be loved too you know.

      Delete
    2. Look its just a descriptive phrase, it is how they present themselves, their tone of voice,, You know as a person what and how you wish to covey what your saying..when you put it on paper it has to describe what he heard..I am there every meeting and believe me I cannot think of a word nearly as nice as Mr.spoon was able to use.. We are inundated with media about this same thing happening in our schoolrooms and playgrounds children being verbally abused .castigated, harrassed. its called Bullying, thats what they have become, against people who cannot defend them selves..shame on these poor representatives of our community.

      Delete
  2. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! It's about time somebody reported on those meetings. I refuse to go anymore because those people are so horrible it's not worth being there. I asked one of them to be quiet one night when they were making nasty comments behind me and she told me to shut the "blank" up! I was shocked and disgusted. They should be banned. They treat both the councilmembers and the other residents like trash! Kick them out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simple Decorum. Frustration may be high folks, but when you go to these meetings please state your position with convection but put yourself in check..and clear your mind and get your point across. We all live in the same community and want the best for it. Yes it has changed in over 10 years but it can evolve with the new and the older citizens. They both have so much to offer each other. When you are polite and kind people listen.

      Delete
    2. At one time there was a proposal to move the public comments to the end of the meeting.This would allow those who wanted to listen without the harangue of the "haters" to leave when the real business is finished. Maybe it's time to re-visit that proposal.

      Delete
    3. Please lets do that, It would have to be divided into 2 parts. those who are making community event reports, can still do them at the beginning of meetings. the rest of public speaking could go to the end..that way i could hear the city business with out the "haters" pouring out their venom all over all of those attending.. great idea

      Delete
    4. I like this idea especially the two parts. I for one will send an email to each council member suggesting they consider this proposal. I hope you will join me.In the current political climate they just might act.

      Delete
  3. The author of this article has called it exactly right.
    The purpose of these people who speak at every city council meeting is not so much to address specific issues as it is to attack certain council members.
    I couldn’t agree more; when someone calls you out, attacks your political beliefs or uses sarcasm in an attempt to humiliate you, it's time to clear the room, as the mayor has done with effect, to halt the disruptions. Even going so far as ejecting an “adult” offender who couldn’t control his actions (or was it on purpose?)

    ReplyDelete
  4. 9:10Pm...I really like that idea, try and propose it again. The bottom line with these folks is what: ATTENTION. What is so sad when you watch this group is, they seem to want 'approval' from the instagator, and one wonders why. If you don't like something just get up and say this is why I don't like it and then give your solution. I once had a boss who I highly valued his opinion, I would walk in his office and say 'how would you handle this?", once he grew tired of me and said, 'Why don't you find a way to handle it", I then said to him. "I surely can find a solution but then we won't need you.' What I'm trying to say is this, if you dislike something, then have a better way of doing it and propose it..but not get ugly and throw hate around...stay at home then.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just moved to Sun City. Is it Sun City or is it Menifee? My postal address says Sun City.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all wonder that at times

      Delete
    2. It is Menifee. There was a vote in 2008 when we became a city and the majority vote was for the name Menifee.

      Delete
    3. Collaboration and debate are healthy elements to achieve the best results in most all cases, but little can be accomplished without offering a solution to a problem with your complaint. I have lived in Menifee since 1974 and have seen great things accomplished when the citizens put their minds to it, but I have to say it is rarely an easy task when you insert the division of multiple generations with different priorities. The diversification of Menifee is what makes it such a unique place to live. It is OK to disagree, but remembering respect helps find solutions, forgetting respect accomplishes little. Perhaps the peanut gallery can offer a suggestion on fixing things in the future rather than just complaining? Jeff Knoll

      Delete
    4. It is indeed Menifee, however there IS still a section that is SUN CITY senior community. As much as they have tried they can NOT take that away from us.

      Delete
    5. I agree with your sentiments Jeff,realistically the nuts in the gallery aren't likely to change at this late date.

      Delete
    6. I agree with you on common courtesy but...that is a two way street! When Menifee City came to be, the first council with Edgerton, Mayor..Twyman, Vice Mayor..Mann,,Denver..and Kuentz they never had the tension that exsists today during the meetings. We never saw what we are seeing now! Edgerton ran the meeting with respect to all no matter what or how it was said. Usually everyone gave him respect back.
      You start out by already labeling some of the speakers and must think that anyone that speaks and sits by them are all in one group which you call HATERS! You sound like you go by the motto, BIRDS OF A FEATHER ALL FLOCK TOGETHER. It makes me think that you, in your very short time of attending these meetings, might have already had your mind made up?
      I am going to ask you a favor..when you are sitting in the audience please watch Mayor Denver and how he gets impatient and rolls his eyes at times. He use to get very impatient with Furhman when he could not figure out how to turn his mike on. At times he looks like he would rather be any where else than here! At times I would not want to sit up there either. BUT it has been said many times over..IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT..THEN GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! The council people knew going in that this was not going to be easy and they would not be winning any popularity contests either...but they get paid $500. for their efforts so maybe they should take what is said to them in their stride and if the person makes a good point they should take note of it.
      Greg August is running for District One and he has walked the entire area and knocked on every door. He takes no contibutions from anyone of any kind and also lives here and knows what the residents worry about and also their concerns. How many people do you know that care so much that they would make the effort to walk so far and pay for all of this themselves? I say this is determination and carrying all wrapped up in one gentleman.
      Sue Krisjansson is running here also and when asked at one of the meetings, what experience did she have with seniors? She answered "MY MOTHER LIVES WITH ME AND SHE IS 65 SO I AM AWARE OF WHAT SENIORS NEED!" I ask you Mr Spoon..does this make you feel secure after hearing that answer that she even understands what is going on in District One? Mr. August does! He is well known here and he asks nothing from anyone except for their vote if they trust him. He charges no one to hear what he has to say..and he goes to them. Krisjansson wants money to hear what she has planned for Distict One.
      Please go to the next meeting with no labeling of people on your mind and sit back with an open mind on what is going on. Yes, the ones that are very emotional will talk about their concerns and it will probably be the same thing...but this is because they have asked over and over and get no reply or see no changes. Please remember that they want the best for our residents and our city too. When people feel they have no say then maybe they at times show just how much they care by raising their voice when trying to make their point. I am sure that we have all done this at times.
      Thank you for your time. Pat Thurman

      Delete
    7. Mr. Spoon is this a discussion about the conduct at the council meetings or a forum for political campaigning?

      Delete
    8. I find the quote by Mrs. Thurman about birds flocking quite interesting. I seem to recall when Mr. August was escorted from a council meeting,someone stood and said "shall we all leave" and a group all sitting together left en mass.

      Delete
  6. to 9/9 @ 8:11 AM. Technically there is NO more Sun City. Everything is Menifee. However, whatever city name you use for postal purposes makes absolutely no difference. The main thing to remember is that as long as you put your zip code correctly and legible it does not matter what city name you use. You can ask any postal worker and they'll tell you the same thing. I've used Sun City, Quail Valley and Menifee and it doesn't matter. In fact some map databases will state we live in Sun City when actually the area I am in has always been Menifee or Menifee Valley.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There is absolutely a complete lack of respect at just about any meeting these days. I've been to HOA meetings where it almost turned into a brawl. From what I've seen the problems do not appear to be with older (over 50) people. The problems seem to be with the 20 to 40 age groups.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm wondering how many of these people have been to a council meeting. There is always a 3-2 vote on every issue and that should be looked at come election time. There never is a fair vote since it is always the same three voting the same way. We need people that can weight the issues and vote their own mind and not be puppets on anothers strings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go back to the voting record when Edgerton,Mann and Twyman were voting and count the number of 3-2 votes for this group.I guess it all boils down to whether or not you like whats being voted on.

      Delete
    2. More important is the issue being voted on. A look at that record is more telling.

      Delete
    3. Maybe they should have 7 on the council. Hopefully whoever gets on the council will vote for the interest of Menifee/Sun City and not because they owe someone for their vote or contibution.

      Delete
    4. This is getting nuts! Now a charge against Mann. Seems like this story could wait until the proper people do some investigating and find out what Mann did or did not do before it gets put into print. So many people jump to conclusions without any real facts to go on.

      Delete

emo-but-icon

Follow Us









































Popular

Recent

Comments

Subscribe Via E-mail

Have the latest articles and announcements on Menifee 24/7 delivered to your e-mail address.
Email Format
item