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The Tentacle


August 9, 2002

Raise Your Hand, Pluck!

Mike Kuster

Perhaps they didn't have that rule where Bill Hall went to school! The rest of us learned very early in life that we should wait to be recognized before talking. Wait for Mommy to finish talking before interrupting. Raise your hand in class. Wait for the chair to recognize you on the floor of Congress. Aren't these the rules we all learned.

Maybe not.

I find in many public meetings in Frederick that people do just shoot of at the mouth. It's against the rules of parliamentary procedure, but what the heck! Those of us who follow the rules can wait until the big-mouthed, rude SOB's of Frederick are done.

Bill Hall raised cane over the City of Frederick's new rules of procedure, because it gives the presiding officer the power of recognizing a speaker. He feels this gives too much power to the mayor, usually the presiding officer at meetings of the Board of Aldermen.

Mr. Hall must choose a standard and stick with it.

In discussions over an invocation before meetings of the Board of Aldermen, Mr. Hall and David Lenhart pointed to Congress as an example of a governing body praying before meetings. They claim that if Congress can do it, the Board of Aldermen can do it.

Well, Congress requires speakers to be recognized by the chair. In fact, speakers are allotted time for their statements. We've all heard the Gentleman from Maryland yielding the remainder of his time to the Gentlewoman from California. We've all seen a representative gaveled to the floor when their time has elapsed.

So, does Bill Hall want to hold Congress up as an example or not?

I've never belonged to an organization that did not follow Robert's Rules of Order. What would a meeting be like without a chair recognizing speakers?

Perhaps like a meeting of the City of Frederick. Recent audio clips of meetings are sometimes inaudible. Why? Because Bill Hall and someone else are talking all over each other!

Here's one for you! That makes meetings of the Board of Aldermen in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. People hard of hearing cannot make out what is said. If a sign language interpreter is present, which speaker should be translated. Oh, I know. Each Alderman will have an interpreter.

Lastly, will Mr. Hall complain about the power to recognize speakers when he is presiding over meetings? He is the one who runs meetings in Mayor Dougherty's absence.

I now call on Mr. Hall.



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