Another Bit of Freedom Gone
Guest Article, Author: Carl Rullmann
Congressman John Boehner has ostensibly kept in contact with constituents by providing a Staff Representative to visit various locations within his district and meet with them for an hour each month. These meetings amounted to miniature “town halls,” with varying numbers of constituents, each having an opportunity to come and bring up topics, ask questions, seek assistance, etc. (West Chester’s date on the schedule is second Thursday, 9 AM, in the West Chester Township Hall, 9113 Cin-Day Road.)
But a couple months ago, the “town hall” format in West Chester disappeared as the Staff Representative began to see constituents singly (or with spouse) for individual discussion, thus eliminating the group interaction or discussion and the expansion of facts adding to the discussion.
In the new format which has been continued, each would be admitted to the room in the order they had arrived—others would wait in the corridor, not subject to the decorum present in the town hall setting.
The previous town hall setting had enabled productive and informative interchange of ideas, solutions, and view points. People attending would meet new friends and build relationships, both among themselves and the Boehner Staff.
The change in format was not appreciated by many of those attending. The staff representative gave no reason for the change except for a complaint of monopolizing time by individuals. It is difficult to understand how a change in the format would eliminate this problem as the Boehner Representative is the moderator in either format. The representative did say she was instructed to make the change by her superiors.
There have been no formal West Chester Town Halls hosted by Representative Boehner himself in years. We have always been told his schedule is already full.
October 10, 2013