If you saw a woman sitting on the floor in a public meeting, what would you do? Offer her a seat? Move to a location that had enough seating for the public attending the meeting?
If you were at the Middletown Township Committee meeting you would have seen nothing done. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Township Administrator, all men, saw this woman sitting on the floor because there was no room for the public in an over-heated committee meeting room. Meanwhile there was a fully air-conditioned courtroom down the hall with plenty of seating for everyone attending the meeting to sit down.
I can’t say what was more appalling. Seeing the men in charge of the meeting have so little concern for residents that they will not even have a meeting in a place were the public who wants to can attend or that these men could completely lack the simple courtesy, as to leave a woman sitting on the floor.
I can bet that you could not even fit a wheelchair in the room making the meeting a violation of handicap access laws.
But the most absurd comment was said to me when I questioned the Township Administrator about how he could let a woman sitting on the floor, leave people standing in the halls and sending one reporter out of the room because he felt light-headed.
“If you had said something we would have moved the meeting.” he said. ‘
I know the men in charge of the meeting have that responsibility or should have at least a simple sense of common courtesy to move the meeting so appropriate seating was available. And if they do it again, I will be speaking up now that I know that at least one man will act on the suggestion. I am fairly certain that there are a several mothers out there that would completely disapprove of how their sons lack of courtesy.
But the disrespect and lack of courtesy shown to that woman and the rest of the residents who were left standing in the hall was simply inexcusable.
Note – I was breifly at last nights Township Workshop Meeting and can verify what Mrs. Walsh has written above. Once again the small Town Hall Conference Room was packed to over capacity with an overflow of approx. 10-12 people standing outside in the hallway (myself included). There is no good reason why the workshop meetings can not be held in the court room like other meetings are other than the powers that be do not wish to do so hoping that it will discourgae others from participating and joining n the discussions.