By Scott Tibbs, June 13, 2001
This is the text of remarks I made during public comment time at the June 13, 2001 City Council meeting.
Bloomington prides itself on being a "safe and civil city" but the near-riot at last night's County Council meeting showed us as anything but.
After a bipartisan 5-2 vote approving bonds for the Canturbury Apartments project, extreme Leftists in the audience chanted, screamed and generally threw a temper tantrum, forcing the County Council to adjourn the meeting to take up their remaining business the following week. This sort of childish behavior is unacceptable. The extremists who shut down the meeting need to learn that sometimes, in a free society, your elected representatives may not always vote the way you think they should. This is simply the way our system of government operates and you will not always get your way.
I have been disappointed at many things that local government has done, and you have seen me here in this very chamber opposing many actions by the City. But when the City Council votes to approve things like the McDoel Gardens historical designation or various sign ordinances you don't see me trying to shut down the meeting in a childish fit of rage.
If the so-called "environmentalists" opposed to the Canturbury project are concerned about the direction the County Council took, they should get involved in next year's elections, both volunteering and voting for candidates who share their views. They have every right to express their opinions, petition government for redress of grievances, and get involved in the electoral process. They do NOT have the right to shut down a public meeting by acting like a bunch of spoiled two-year-olds. The audience members who acted out in this way should be ashamed of themselves.
What was even more disturbing, as well as frightening, was the fact that the Herald-Times reported that two individuals rushed the bench. These types of threatening actions are intolerable and Sheriff Sharp should have arrested them on the spot. There is absolutely no excuse for this behavior, which borders on terrorism.
In closing, I have two words for the participants in last night's debacle.