>I was reading Art Gallagher’s impressions of what transpired last night at the Middletown Township Committee meeting last night and I generally agree with his assessment.
The meeting was very good and it was to seen the six new members of the police department sworn in with there families in attendance. While it was interesting to hear the presentation from the Middletown Health Department and all that they do, I found it a little long. After all, I was there to see a show and I was getting a bit antsy waiting.
When Art did get up to speak sometime after 10 pm, the Mayor seemed to be waiting for him because he immediately announce that there was going to be a 5 minute time limit on comments. The township clerk then literally set a time clock that went off after the 5 minutes. Art then had to rush through his comments to finish.
Art, as he mentioned did not get the great debate that he wanted, largely because no one showed up argue the point with him and because the debate did get sidetracked over who called for the Middletown Human Rights Commission to meet.
On this point, I have to take exception with Art Gallagher’s perception on events. While Committeeman Short my have been trying to score political points by blaming Mayor Scharfenberger for the “unnoticed special meeting”, it was Scharfenberger’s denials and the seemingly apparent cover up by the Clerk, Township Administer and Attorney, about asking the commission to meet that lead to that confrontation.
One of the main issues that Committeeman Short takes exception to is “open and transparent government” and Mayor Scharfenberger knows that, so to try and cover up the fact was not the right course of action for him to take.
I was at the hastily called meeting of the MHRC Thursday night, I received the message off my answering machine late that day it. I am not sure how the person leaving the message found out about the meeting. I arrived late and left after the Commission decided to draft a resolution
against Art Gallagher’s methods.
Now, why have I brought that up? because several times during the special session the Cindy Hoffman of the Human Rights Commission mentioned that the mayor asked her to look into the allegations and to convene a special meeting. When asked if Mayor Scharfenberger knew about the meeting taking place, she said that he was aware of it but she did not know if he would be attending.
So the only real fireworks that we got last night was the confrontation between Short and Scharfenberger.
And I really think that the issue for the Township is over, I just don’t see the Human Rights Commission reconvening just to discuss this their resolution against Art and his blog. The meeting was called for after all, as a political ploy by the mayor against the Courier and not because he had concerns over what Art Gallagher wrote on his blog.
You can hear audio clips from the meeting on Melissa Gaffney’s SableMinded blog