Commerce Mayor to Public Meeting Attendees Supporting No Kill: Shut Up and Get Out

A public meeting of the Commerce city council in Texas was held last week. Dozens of people showed up in support of no kill, some planning to address the council during the public speaking portion of the meeting. They intended to speak about the needless killings at the Commerce pound. But they were denied that opportunity when the city council skipped the portion of the meeting where the public is allowed to speak. After the meeting was abruptly adjourned, taxpayers asked why they were denied their right to address the council.

“This is an issue that does not have to be brought forth,” Commerce Mayor John Ballotti said. “I get to pick what items we go over. That is the end of the discussion. You may all leave.”

Members of the city council hid from the media after the meeting and the city manager confirmed that the mayor is the Supreme Picker of Who Gets to Talk and When They Get to Do It.

The city later issued a statement regarding the pound to the media. You can read it in full here. The gist of it:

  • The irresponsible public is all the irresponsible.
  • Animal Control workers have a hard job.
  • Everything at the pound is fine.
  • Killing is a kindness.
  • PETA kills 90% of the animals it accepts and you know they’re ethical because it says so right in the name.

So there’s that malarkey.

Here’s my question: Are taxpayers in Commerce truly only allowed to address their city council at the whim of Mayor Supreme Picker?  Can anyone point me to where it says that in the law?  If such a law does exist, I would raise hell about that if I lived in Commerce.  If it doesn’t exist, I would raise hell about the mayor and the city manager disenfranchising taxpayers of their right to petition government for redress of grievances – which by the way is a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which Mayor Supreme Picker must uphold even if he hates it.  End of discussion.

(Thank you Patricia for the link.)

Leave a comment

11 Comments

  1. What an asshole on a power trip! He violated the law on free speech! He has no business in the Council! He has no right to sentence animals to being killed in Shelters! This is all out of control and we really need to focus on animal shelter reform! Thousands of dogs are dying while we decide what to do! This is enough! We must act on this animal cruelty and get these self imposed council member gods out of their high and mighty positions!

    Reply
  2. If I would live in Commerce City, I would get the ACLU involved since it is clearly a violation of the First Amendment.

    Reply
  3. Any Mayor that is so dismissive of public concerns is a Mayor whose time in office is about to run out, as far as I’m concerned.

    The fact that he won’t allow people to even speak is disturbing and symptomatic of enabling what is currently happening at the pound.

    Reply
  4. I found Commerce’s city ordinance’s online here. https://www.municode.com/library/#!/tx/commerce/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICH_ART3THGOBO_S22RESE

    After a quick review I found this “Sec. 24. – City council sessions public. All meetings of the city council and the committees thereof shall be open to the public, except for executive sessions as provided by state law. Any resident citizen of the City of Commerce shall have a reasonable opportunity to be present and to be heard at any such session on any subject pertaining to city government”

    Notice that it does not say “unless the mayor says he doesn’t want to hear the public”.

    Reply
    • Well done Bett. Looks like the mayor, the city manager and the entire city council are out to disenfranchise citizens. Surely there is a Constitutional lawyer willing to write a letter to set these clowns straight.

      Reply
      • Thanks. I imagine that there are probably rules regarding the length of time that each person is allowed to speak too. There is in Houston. In Houston, each person is allowed 3 minutes however the mayor is allowed to cut that to 1 minute if there is a large amount of people registered to speak at that public session.

        We’ve gone through similar antics in Houston over the years. A few years ago, a group of us went to speak at the public session regarding our city’s House of Horrors aka animal control. The mayor knew we were going to speak on that topic (because we were all registered) and he even mentioned it early in the session. However, when I got up to speak he left the room. Obviously, he did not want to hear what a lousy job he had been doing. We learned that many times, city council will completely ignore us UNLESS media is in the room taping the session. If cameras are on them, suddenly they are interested in the atrocities. Sad but true.

  5. ruthrawls

     /  October 29, 2014

    I read the City of Commerce’s response here: http://www.commercejournal.com/news/city-of-commerce-makes-statement-regarding-animal-shelter/article_75488348-5b99-11e4-b051-0770deeb6a3d.html, and commented on it.

    “I worked as a tech at a veterinarian’s office for four years where owned animals were euthanized, and it’s not always a peaceful, happy ending. The procedure can go badly – the vein can collapse; the vet can under-calculate the amount of Beuthanasia and the animal does not expire; the vet uses too small a needle; the vet applies pressure to the syringe and the needle comes off and the Beuthanasia squirts out on the person holding; the procedure goes too slowly and the blood clots in the vein and the vet has to find another vein, if possible; the animal struggles and the needle comes out of the vein, and the vet has to start over, if he can find another vein…”

    Reply
  6. Connie

     /  October 29, 2014

    I live in Bedford, Texas and the same kind of crap is going on in that city. It is sickening when the Mayor and Council Members ignore the community and forget the city belongs to the people and not the other way around. These people who treat the community this way are serving their egos and personal agendas. Please read my story about Bedford, TX, I shared a link to the story that was written by the Fort Worth Weekly about my fight to stop trap and kill and embrace TNR in Bedford. There is a lot more to the story but wanted to share this since I think you would find that this crap is going on in other cities too and we need to figure out how to put a stop to this. FYI….I also have a community Facebook page TNR4BedfordTX please visit my page and “like” the page. We need to figure out how to put a stop to Mayors and Council members who want to continue the needless killing at the city animal shelters! http://www.fwweekly.com/2014/02/26/feral-fight/
    Thank you, Connie

    Reply
  7. This highlights the EXACT reason why we must have representatives in government who are truly interested in animal rights issues. If we do NOT start getting politically involved and fighting for No Kill with politicians who really want to make a difference and are committed to ending the killing, the killing will NEVER stop. I am sure each and every one of those officials would have loved to hear from the people had they wanted their votes in an upcoming election and that’s the hypocrisy of what is going on with our elected officials.

    Reply
    • db

       /  October 31, 2014

      I hope that everyone who reads this takes the time to find out where their local politicians stand on the welfare of animals and then vote for the animals.

      Reply

Speak!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: