Almanac

Viewpoint - June 9, 2010

Letter: Disgusted by Redwood City's rules on Cargill testimony

I left Monday's meeting of the Redwood City Council on the Cargill development feeling absolutely disgusted.

Almost 50 citizens opposed to the project took the time out to come to the council meeting, and let their elected officials know their feelings and concerns and to bring some useful information to their attention.

The mayor kept the Cargill vote on the consent agenda, policed arbitrary limits on public comment, cut off speakers after one minute, and council members refused to comment or respond to the many serious concerns expressed by their own residents.

One woman even prepared a very informative video about how the Cargill property could be restored to wetlands (virtualsaltworks.org), but was cut off after 30 seconds.

The mayor's attitude was derisive and hostile. Rather than welcoming public comment, he seemed not to want to hear criticism of the project. Did he forget that he is an elected official, in his position because the citizens voted him there? Once it came time for the vote, the council did not discuss the Cargill development at all.

I left the meeting feeling that the mayor and council members had made up their minds well before the meeting, did not care what the public had to say, and made a mockery of the democratic process.

Perhaps we should listen to other opinions and learn from our past mistakes, or we will be making the same mistakes all over but expecting different results.

Janet Larson

Patricia Drive, Atherton

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