During regular business meetings of the Sedona Fire District Governing Board, as every Public Forum Session is about to commence, Chairman Dave Blauert warns, “No personal attacks will be tolerated.” It seems to me there is a colossal lack of understanding between members of that Board and the public with regard to what constitutes a personal attack.
The five currently seated members of the governing Board are Ty Montgomery, Charles Christensen, Dave Blauert, Phyllis Erick and Craig Dible. Placed before each of them is a small placard bearing their names. As those placards are facing members of the public in attendance at the meetings, it stands to reason they exist for the sole purpose of identification.
When members of the public speak during Public Forum and reference statements of fact regarding business conducted by members of this Board on behalf of the people or in some cases — in spite of the people — or reference direct quotes from prior meeting minutes, it is NOT, as Charles Christensen asserted during the January 25, 2012 meeting “unacceptable” to use the names of Board members. Neither does referencing his or any other Board member’s name in that context during the Public Forum session constitute a personal attack nor provide cause for Dave Blauert to bang his Chairman’s gavel.
Throughout the course of SFD Governing Board meetings, recorded blunder upon blunder upon blunder do, in fact, reflect VERY negatively on the individual performances of members Dave Blauert, Charles Christensen and Phyllis Erick – each now the subject of recall election. It is understandable they might like to distance themselves from any and all personal responsibility – instead, preferring to indict the entire Board for any wrongdoing.
However, when, as a matter of record Board member Phyllis Erick — autonomously and without prior Board consent — commits taxpayer funds, after which all the members of the Board must come together to either approve an already paid invoice or ratify the expense of long previously utilized legal services, she must, by name, be held accountable before the people.
When Board Chairman, Dave Blauert repeatedly fails to call for a vote after a motion has been made and seconded, and frequently forgets the verbiage of or incorrectly restates motions before him, he too, must by name, be held accountable before the people.
And when Board Clerk, Charles Christensen, in the face of documented facts, many of which he himself has called for, says, “I just don’t buy it!” then he, as well, must be held accountable, by name, before the people for his frequently erroneous, but doggedly held opinions.
These are public meetings. Board members are public servants — not dieties. Like most people under most circumstances, those Board members are treated with the respect they have earned and accordingly, their days on this Governing Board are coming to a close. Citizens, taxpayers, voters who once believed the fallacies these incompetent people continue to put forth as fact, are now ashamed and embarrassed to have placed them in office.Wendy Tanzer VOC