Wednesday, June 24, 2009
NORTH CANTON COUNCIL PRESIDENT DARYL REVOLDT: A CANDIDATE FOR THE SCPR "THOMAS JEFFERSON AWARD" FOR HIS PROMOTION OF FREE SPEECH?
The main event at Monday's North Canton Council meeting was the approval by Council of an ordinance to approve the Construction Management Agreement (CMA) proposed between Maple Street Commerce LLC and the city of North Canton.A close second though was a mini-debate among council members as to community activist and former councilman Chuck Osborne's time allocation to address Council on various aspects of the agreement.
By the SCPR account of Osborne's time (verified by video recording), Osborne spoke well in excess of 10 minutes and waded in with frequent interruptions.
He spoke during "visitors recognitiion," and in response to economic development Director Eric Bowles initial failure to own up to having spoken with Osborne during the preceding week about any aspect of the CMA only on Osborne's interjection to correct himself. Moreover, he spoke at the tail end of the meeting at the issuance of a general invitation by Revodt, which the SCPR understands is a common Revoldt practice.
In Osborne's defense to his interjecting "out-of-order," the SCPR noted how various Administration officials or Council members would make comments that either directly or implicitly reflected on Osborne.
So the question becomes, wouldn't a fair minded person accord him an opportunity to respond on the spot?
And the SCPR believes that Revoldt was fair to Osborne. Revodt is bright enough to the know the difference between out-of-control interruption and when fairness demands the opportunity to respond.
The Report understands that Revoldt subscribes to the 5 minute rule but exercises discretion as president to expand the limit under the dynamics of the discussion.
Councilman Doug Foltz apparently is a "hardliner" in clamping down on public discourse with Council. He could even be a candidate to become part of the distinguished "Jefferson Muzzles." CLICK HERE to learn about the Jefferson Muzzles.
He addressed his fellow Council members about his frustration with Osborne (though he did not specifically name Osborne) and the time accorded him by Council President Daryl Revoldt.
The SCPR has learned that Foltz, who immediately preceded Revodlt as Council president, on at least one occasion had Osborne removed from Council chambers.
In the course of his comments on Monday, he specifically recommended that persistent commenters be removed from Council meetings by the president.
Although other Council members did not address the "visitors recognition" mechanism or Osborne's conduct directly, it appeared to the SCPR from facial expressions and bodily movements that a number of them were growing impatient with Osborne.
Nonetheless, President Revoldt permitted Osborne and others who spoke pretty much unrestricted leeway in addressing Council. He did, however, refuse to recognize Osborne on one occasion.
In the intra-Council discussion about the "visitors recognition" mechanism, there was some light-hearted banter about Revoldt being a "liberal." Revoldt is known in Stark County as being a conservative Republican whereas Councilman Foltz is a Democrat which apparently struck many as being an ironic twist on the matter of receptivity to unfettered expression.
What follows is a video of a North Canton citizen George Daniluck complimenting Revoldt for his generous management of the"visitor recognition" forum. By implication, he criticizes Councilman Foltz who was Revoldt's immediate predecessor.