Friday, June 8, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

This week, I attended a session of the City Council for an issue regarding one of our projects. Though today's council chambers are filled with the latest technology, including large flat screen tv's, closed circuit television, and attendees with iphone, ipads, laptops, etc., the idea of participation in local government, voicing grievances, asking for support, presenting new ideas, is what the Founding Fathers had in mind, what lead the American Colonists to seek self-government, which culminated in the Glorious Revolution and the formation of the United Statesof America.

By definition, a city or town council is the legislative body that governs a city or municipality where people can come forward with ideas for the greater population or the greater good, heard by an impartial elected body. Historically, cities grew where people gathered to conduct business, the trading of goods and services. In the Middle Ages, faires were conducted for this purpose, in a central area or crossroads. Originally set up for a couple days, these markets fgrew, and with this growth and permanence some sort of government was need to be established to jkeep order, and promote equity in business dealings.

By the 18th Century, with the growth of modern industry and urbanization, came the rise of great cities, and larger government, but the beauty of the city or town council remains in that it is the forum for discussion of issues that affect the local population. Of course, the Founding Fathers were rightfully suspicious of government, and looked to create laws that spoke to an issue without inordinately binding the population, restricting their liberties. So, they often were quoted as stating that government was a necessary evil:

It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government. - Thomas Paine

The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." - John Adams





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