An Open Letter to Chairman Horton, Spartanburg County Council

Dear Chairman Horton:

At the Monday County Council meeting I was scheduled to be the fourth public speaker. Disregarding Spartanburg County Council Rules of Procedure 5-1.1, you avoided my name on the agenda. Rather than listen to a speaker with the professional training to answer the claim of ‘no legal means to address gun-fire,’ you chose to break parliamentary procedure, ignore the First Amendment, and make a farce of participatory government.

Our form of government, our Constitution, and our inalienable rights ought to mean more to you. Your desire to avoid the discomfort of dissenters should not lead you to disenfranchise the First Amendment and reject rights fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty. These are your rights too, and one day you may find yourself in need of them. The people of Spartanburg deserve better from you Chairman Horton.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time your Council has been called to task for not allowing speakers. In 2012 you began following your own rules by including the 30 minute public comment period during Council meetings, and you asked those that forced your hand “how much more responsive can we be?” How about calling the speakers in the order they signed up? We could recruit practically any 5th grader in Spartanburg County to do it competently.