By: Chris Faulknor, Publisher
We elect our representatives to carry out one very simple yet very complex responsibility: to represent the will of the people.
What I witnessed at a recent meeting of the Boyne City Commission was not representative of the will of the people, but a representation of the persons sitting in the chairs.
The issue of fireworks within city limits came up, which has been a hot button issue since recent legislation has been passed requiring the allowance of fireworks during certain holidays throughout the year.
Commissioner Laura Sansom’s opinion was mostly comprised of her experiences with the noise and potential danger created by increased fireworks use.
It painted a picture of great concern as she watched from her window as minors lit off bottle rockets, and what a danger that was.
Mayor Ron Grunch simply stated, “We’re sick and tired of the noise.”
Chamber Director Jim Baumann, while not officially speaking on behalf of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce, referenced a survey he conducted in his role as Chamber Director.
This survey touted 80% of respondents being in favor of increased regulation, however, these results came from a grand total of 32 responses.
Assuming that all of these respondents were within city limits, that would mean that we asked 0.856% of the city population (Source: US Census, 2010) their opinion on the matter.
Exactly zero members of the public spoke at the meeting regarding the issue, excepting the commissioners and Mr. Baumann.
So, who asked the people, and more importantly, who was represented that night?
Was it you, the constituency, or were the commissioners representing their own interests?
Commissioner Derek Gaylord spoke out against these additional regulations and chastised the theoretical prospect of regulating things, especially after they have recently been loosened in other places.
In coming meetings, I would like to hear more about what the people being represented have to say and less about representatives’ personally-motivated opinions.