Monday, February 25, 2013


I favor open meetings, especially where public interests are concerned. Unions have amassed considerable clout by organizing public employees and the people ought to be able to observe the negotiations that are being conducted in our interests.
It’s one thing for private sector negotiations to occur in dimly lit, smoke-filled, back-rooms when only profit margins and stockholder interests are concerned, but an entirely different thing when considering public interests. I’m talking about First-Responders (like Police, Fire, and 911 services), Medical (like public Hospital districts & Ambulance services), Life-sustaining services (like Paratransit & Utility services), and Livability services (like Mass Transit, Roads, Sanitation, Parks, Libraries, and School Districts). The governing bodies of these public interests ought to be transparent and accountable to us–WE, THE PEOPLE–the workers who do these jobs ARE us, our family members, friends, and neighbors. It is also for this reason that many of these public interests ought to be protected through the process of Binding Interest Arbitration, and it’s workers must not be compelled to strike, slow down, or stop their work due to a labor dispute with our governing bodies.

It is doubly important, for the same reasons, especially when the governing body of such a public interest is NOT held to account through direct election by us–WE, THE PEOPLE–that we must clearly see how they carry out their administrative and management responsibilities to us. As a citizen I have a vital interest in said public service, that that service not be disrupted by a labor dispute with my neighbor, that my neighbor receives respectable compensation for performing said service, and that unaccountable, non-elected rogue bureaucrats not obstruct reasonable labor agreements between us–WE, THE PEOPLE–and the workers we hired to do these jobs.
If TriMet’s rouge bureaucrats are engaging the people’s legislature to overturn our protection from striking workers, then they are misappropriating public funds. WE, THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, we want transit workers to stay on the job, we don’t want the vital service they provide to be disrupted over a labor dispute with malicious managers, and we want the whole thing settled before it becomes necessary to involve other departments of the peoples government (like the Labor Relations Board & the Court system). If negotiations between management and labor reach the point of imposing on other institutions of government, then one party or the other has forgotten their responsibility to us–WE, THE PEOPLE–and is not acting in the good faith demanded by public service. This is why these negotiations between TriMet & ATU 757 by all rights ought to be conducted in open sessions, and in accordance with the Public Meetings Law. If one or the other of these parties is not acting in good faith, WE, THE PEOPLE need to know about it right now, before it becomes a further imposition on our self-governance, and before it causes a schism between my neighbor and me.
If TriMet’s rogue bureaucrats are engaging the use of misleading, even erroneous propaganda to cause division and schism between the workers and/or WE, THE PEOPLE, then they are again maliciously misappropriating public funds. Furthermore, and in my opinion, for such malfeasance they should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and made examples of by their abuse of the public’s trust.
If a mediator or moderator is required to control the occasional outbursts from observers is necessary, then deal with that as any public meeting does–ask them to conduct themselves appropriately. Failing that, escort them from the room. Furthermore, I want to see a video recording of every minute of these proceedings. Let every interested party convey these recording on their respective websites, and let all the media who is interested in the story cover the meetings from gavel to gavel. It is time we all see what has been going on in these dimly lit, smoke-filled, back-rooms; throw open the doors; and let the light shine in.
A concerned citizen,

Lionel R

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