Lorain City Council Meetings or Am I speaking in a vacuum?

February 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm 8 comments


Jean Schaeffer was a wonderful acting coach. On occasion Jean, would during the last week of rehearsal, come in to “tighten -up” the production.

I was used to being critiqued and having her give me a plethora of notes at the end of a rehearsal. In fact, in one play she spent an hour making me just walk across the stage as I was taking off a coat. A small seemingly insignificant action but actually one that made a world of difference to the character I was portraying .

BUT there were times when I would be with her and watching a performance or production that REALLY needed her expertise and she would say nothing just nod and smile. All the time I would be thinking

“why isn’t she saying anything this is awful they need help”

One day I asked, after a particularly dreadful performance,

Why aren’t you saying anything?


Jean replied:

“If you are not prepared to take on the work to change something then don’t criticize those that are trying”


I have remembered that and in past years I have tried not to criticize too much those that are doing if I am not prepared to do the project or run for office etc.

So I sit back in my enforced “grief-apathy” and watch.

Sometimes I am stirred to speak ( now I prepare the statements- as I can no longer be trusted to talk “off the top of my head” as I just may go “off my head”) .

Prepared Statement read before City Council Committee Feb 14th 2011
Lorain City Council Committee Statement Feb 14th 2011 Charleston Village Soc

The Historical Hysteria caused me to show-up for a recent Council Committee meeting and the de ja vu of “same behaviours” I have seen for years continues unabated:

It is obvious as the audience watches (as it always has been) who is on whose “team” in the “Admin vs Council/
Council vs Admin game that has been going on for years ( no matter whose bottom in the seats)-

The city department that is the flavour of the month subjected to “biting remarks” 😉

but the most frustrating part of being in the “audience” is hearing the council person on the floor pontificate and ask the questions trying to sound knowledgeable and asking the hard questions when to all who are watching it is obvious they were unprepared for the meeting

So my notes to those that legislate and administrate

Notes anyone????????????????

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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, city of lorain, personal opinion. Tags: , , .

WHO I AM! The artwork speaks – Chris Ritchey Encased in Crystal-the artist speaks

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dennis Flores  |  February 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Loraine,

    In the beginning, when I started on council it was with mucho enthusiasm that I would pick up my packet as soon as it was in my mailbox. Oh I would read the packet, alright, all day sometimes all night and make those phone calls to the administration, other council members or talk to constituents.

    I was a good Eagle Scout; you know read the packet, “Be Prepared”. Monday’s were spent preparing for the big meeting , but Monday nights would prove to be frugal because right before the start of a council meeting the administration
    ( auditor, community development, the mayor) would come around and say forget what was in your packet here is the new handout.

    Packet switching is used to optimize the use of the channel capacity available in digital telecommunication networks such as computer networks, to minimize the transmission latency (i.e. the time it takes for data to pass across the network), and to increase robustness of communication…lol

    Need I say this action took the term “packet switching” to a new transgressional level!

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  February 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks Dennis for giving the perspective of one who has sat in the seat.

    What would happen I wonder if council members when receiving last minute handouts said NO unless we receive information updated in a timely manner say 48 hours before the meeting we will not deal with that legislation until the next meeting?

    I know that can be dangerous too as I remember Eddie Edwards at one meeting refusing to deal with a piece of legislation as an “emergency” because council was fed up with everything being brought before them as an
    “emergency” and sent it back to committee …

    Unfortunately, this time when too much of the then administration’s “crying Wolf” ( emergency) wasn’t dealt with just a few days later a sewer line that was part of that emergency legislation went “phtt” and well we all know what happened next…………….

    https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/another-lawsuit-lorain/

    What is the answer anyone?????????

  • 3. Lisa  |  February 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Having been at the same meeting and watching the auditor doze off while everyone else was texting, taking phone calls, and doing who knows what on their laptops, I think it’s time that someone looks into establishing some kind of social media usage policy for the city. Texting and e-mailing each other during a meeting could cause a conflict with the state’s Sunshine and Open Records laws, couldn’t it?

  • 4. Observer  |  February 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    The Policy established should be:

    Do Your Homework
    (read the packet, even if they do change. When they do, push it back to the next meeting, continue to reward bad behaviour and you’ll get bad behaviour)

    Meetings should never go beyond 9 PM

    Comments by Council should be limited. If they have questions, clarification can/should be made prior to Monday’s meeting.

    Meetings should be televised, the body language and extracurriculars would be interesting to observe for those that don’t go (would love to fast forward through the pontification especially during election years).

  • 5. Lisa  |  February 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    But if you FF thru the pontification, you would miss the hilariousness that is our city council using big words in the wrong places in an effort to sound as if they are smarter than they are. That doesn’t happen through osmosis, people. 😀

  • 6. thatwoman  |  February 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    My next post actually will be on a word…..
    Basically if you read the “statement” it was about the erroneous use of words by Tracy Urdija….

    the trouble is as I explained to someone at that meeting “words and the English language” is important and the dumbing down of that language may be alright as we “communicate” with one another ( I am just as guilty ) – although I did have to giggle as one person at that meeting ( whom I had just met) and was complaining about the state of the school system and the fact they didn’t teach “cursor” writing – it took awhile but I finally figured out they were talking about cursive … joined up writing 😉

    Why is it important for those that legislate to know the language and be very careful because – the “language of LAWYERS and the Legal system is written in the “letter of the the law” which hasn’t changed……. no matter if you are using a cursor or cursive 😉

  • […] mentor Jean Schaeffer would have said- and yes! I could see her playing the Maggie Smith role. Jean taught me a great deal above and beyond “acting […]

  • […] We are lucky if some read their council packets SIGH There were a couple of hiccups as least one senior moment in the Lorain Mayor’s table talk and in the Council at Large table talk only one of the candidates actually “answered the question as it was asked” […]

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