Here’s a reminder that you’ll have a chance to ask questions of city council members Monday. The format is a Town Hall meeting.
Some questions already submitted will be asked and, if they haven’t changed the rules, the floor will be open for questions from the audience as well.
The idea of the town hall format is, as we understand it, to give the councilors a chance to respond to questions that are seldom if ever addressed during the community forum segment of regular council meetings.
We’ve been doing some informal, happy hour surveys of what sort of questions islanders might like to present to our elected officials. There are many, but among the questions we hear people say they’d like to ask, the following pop up over and over again.
Oddly, some were close to questions Barbara Walters has asked politicians and other celebs. Really:
n If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you like to be? (asked of Katherine Hepburn)
n If you were a super hero and could have one super power, what would it be? (asked of Pres. Obama. She claimed to be quoting little kids.)
Other popular questions were more local in nature, such as, “What kind of palm tree would you like to be?”
We are confident all our councilors would point out that palms really aren’t trees. A couple members of council would add that the public should be aware that Grape Nuts cereal is neither grape nor nuts and that pineapples have nothing to do with apples, nor pine trees, pine nuts, not even pine scented car air fresheners.
Maybe the most important question of all
A key question everybody in town wants answered is this: Why are the council members’ chairs so low or the dais so high that members look like the old “Kilroy Was Here” symbol, the guy trying to peer over the lip of the table?
Other questions the public wants to know:
-- Do our council members ever watch the reruns of council meetings on cable TV?
-- If so, do they ever wish for a mulligan on something they said?
-- Why does the city seem to rely so heavily on consultants for so many projects? Aren’t we already paying staff employees to know stuff?
-- Why shouldn’t the city sell the water and sewer facility to a privately run utility company?
-- Why do we need seven city councilors? Wouldn’t five be plenty? And the same for all the appointed committees. Think of the savings in paper and printer cartridges.
-- Isn’t it true that the so-called sunshine laws sometimes reach absurd levels of enforced transparency? Why cannot two councilors have lunch together to chat about an issue without having to publish their menu choices and alert the media?
Unfortunately, during our research, some of the people with whom we spoke deflected our request for questions to ask council and turned on the news media.
“Here’s a question for you media types,” one citizen snarled: “Why do you think the public’s approval rating for the media is down there somewhere between members of Congress and pedophiles?
The session on Jan. 23 should be lively, so show up with your questions at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room on Bald Eagle Drive.
Be there or be square and be nice. Or at least be funny.
Full-time vet now on the job at the conservancy
A veterinarian expert in treating endangered species is on staff now at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
She is Dr. Rachel Goldfarb, whose position at the Conservancy is a new one.
And she is pumped about her new job there.
“My experience in trauma, critical care medicine, pain management and anesthesiology will help to provide immediate care to the wildlife that crosses our doorstep every day,” Dr. Goldfarb says.
She has studied and treated everything from small animals to elephants in her career assignments before coming here.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: email@example.com.