Letter of the Day

Same subject as before, but different perspective…

Town-Hall Meeting Receives Rotten Tomato

Editor, Times-Dispatch: I am sitting here in a state of complete shock and disbelief. I attended what I thought would be a public forum hosted by Republican Delegate Jack Reid at Godwin High School. Instead, what I and many other average citizens endured felt like a terrible joke that had been played on us.

The opportunity for ordinary people like me – who work all day, every day during the week – to talk to my Delegate almost never happens. A public forum is a unique chance to be heard. I looked forward to hearing people express a wide range of opinions about the current budget crisis. Imagine what I felt when not one single person in the packed audience at Godwin was allowed to speak. Not one. I watched with dismay as a man who identified himself as the “Republican caucus director” sorted through written questions, which was the only form of question that Reid and the other legislators would even allow. In the course of two hours, less than a handful of questions were read. Rather than listen to the citizens, legislators talked. And talked. And talked. When the format was challenged by audience members, Reid invited people to leave.

And so we did. Like me, many left in disgust as they watched one of the only opportunities the people of Reid’s district have had to be heard on the budget crisis slip through their fingers. It is a tragedy for all of us that Reid, Bill Janis, and John O’Bannon were more interested in listening to the sound of their own voices than to the opinions of the people in their districts. Hopefully, we will all remember their indifference when they come knocking on our doors for re-election next November. Patricia B. Bland. richmond.

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