I Went To My First City Council Meeting Last Night. Here’s What I Learned.
It was eye-opening, and it felt good to be involved in my community.
I attended my first-ever city council meeting last night at Burton City Hall. One of my neighbors was asking for a variance so that she can own four dogs instead of the two that are allowed per city law. Her neighbor has been filming them and filing complaints, so she asked for our support. I know what it's like to have a neighbor give you a hard time, and it stinks. So I wanted to be there for her.
I didn't realize that the public can speak at these meetings, so I signed up to say a few words in her family's defense. Believe it or not, I was nervous and shaking. Yes, even radio jocks can get anxious about speaking in public.
The first order of business, though, was about a variance for a proposed medical marijuana facility that would be within 1,000 feet of a church.
I was SHOCKED to hear how many people, mostly senior citizens, are still vehemently opposed to marijuana. One lady said that she was afraid of getting "robbed" for money for drugs if they open the facility. There were quite a few comments of the "I have nothing against marijuana, but I don't want it in my neighborhood" nature.
They ended up denying the variance. Makes me very, VERY curious as to what will happen with Prop 1 on the November ballot.
When it came time to discuss the variance for the dogs, I learned that you MUST come prepared. My neighbor arrived with pictures of her dogs, their fenced-in yard, copies of their dog licenses, etc. Her neighbor, on the other hand, didn't bring anything on paper. Instead, he attacked her and her husband personally. It didn't bode well.
I learned that being on the city council is a tough job. They can't let their personal beliefs impede on the law, but they're also trying to be good human beings, too. Definitely not a job for everybody; I couldn't do it.
Overall, I learned that being involved feels good. If you ever get one of those little postcards in the mail that encourages you to come to a council meeting and voice your concerns and/or opinions, consider doing it.