LocoFocoRampant

"Wing of the Democratic Party made up of workingmen and reformers, opposed to monopolies and financial policies that seemed to them antidemocratic and conducive to special privilege. The Locofocos received their name when party regulars turned off the gas lights to oust the radicals from a Tammany Hall nominating meeting. The radicals responded by lighting candles with new matches known as locofocos and nominated their own slate." (From: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048706 )

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I am husband and father in a family of four, wife Verna, son Thomas, and daughter Jennifer. We've lived in Springfield's 137th District for over ten years at 800 W Calhoun St, and love the Grant Beach area. I was born to a military family, my mother and father met at Ft Leonard Wood. I was born in Ft Hood Texas, and travelled throughout my childhood, with most of my time spent in any one place in the Rolla Mo area. When I completed my own four year hitch with the US Navy, I settled here in Missouri, living in Mt Vernon. I moved into Springfield in 1994 to attend (then) SMSU and stayed, finding our permanent home in the Grant Beach Park area.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bigfoot at Alien Staff Meeting

Caption/Comments on this Flickr art said

"Bigfoot attending Alien Staff Meeting at the secret Mothership hanger located 5 miles below Mount Shasta, California.

Management often required Bigfoot to attend meetings to "birddog" various issues. He felt that he really had no input or influence on anything that was discussed. When asked about risks and opportunities from the "Bigfoot perspective" he would just grunt."

I just wonder if the "public input" sessions the Various Boards and Committees (VBC's) that purport to collect public input from the citizens of Springfield are much different. It doesn't seem like it to me. The thing I hear most when talking to my Ward's constituents when discussing the VBC's is "Our opinion doesn't matter, they'll do what they damn well please." It's proven true in recent issues affecting the Northside of town lately.

It seems to me that many of the sessions have preplanned outcomes. Witness Donna Bergan's experience with the CU commission to look at the power plant issue recently. In various meetings with other concerned citizens, she testified that the most common source of information for that body was from or related to the coal fired plant industry, and few or none from alternative points of view. The very fact that she was picked for the body was a surprise to her: she had little to no experience with these issues and other candidates that were qualified were passed over, such as Paul Redfearn.

Hopefully, Dec. 5th's meeting * for public input concerning railroad crossings in Springfield will be different, but I'm not holding my breath.

Preplanned outcomes are a good way to keep a plan on track, but makes a mockery of real citizen participation.

* December 5, 20056:00 PM in the Bill Foster North Room of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Photo from Flickr: Uploaded 12 Nov '05, 5.24pm PST by hua bing chong ji.

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