Former Councilman Offers First Amendment Lesson
Tom Bevirt addressed a comment on Monday left on one of his Local Voices columns by current Councilman Chris Wizner.
During the public comment portion of Monday’s Powder Springs City Council meeting, former Councilman Tom Bevirt brought up issues he had with a comment left on one of his Patch Local Voices columns.
“I agree more Citizens need to get involved in the City. However, when a few select Citizens start repetitively, near daily, impeding the production of City employees with questions, requests, and personal agendas it hurts all the Citizens of the City. Not to say this is wrong, but are we willing to risk increased taxes by all to hire more staff to get the needed work done so a few can have unlimited access to our City Government."
Bevirt said Wizner’s comment goes against the last part of the First Amendment, which enables citizens “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
“That person should read the First Amendment and all the attachments that go with it,” Bevirt said. An elected official who “doesn’t understand that, well maybe they ought to do something else.”
Wizner was absent from Monday’s meeting. Mayor Pat Vaughn and Bevirt briefly discussed what Wizner meant by “agenda,” but the other four council members sat silently.
Bevirt added: “I’m sorry some of you have decided not to return my phone calls. I think this is a way that people contact their government, and they expect those phone calls to be returned or a letter sent—something like that.”
The former councilman said he hasn’t been writing names in his Local Voices columns, but “if that kind of thing continues, that might have to change.”
When Bevirt finished, the council and City Attorney Richard Calhoun proceeded with the reading of the consent agenda.