I try to attend the monthly village meetings in Manorhaven on a fairly regular basis. Some seem to last only 15 minutes, but this was not the case on Sept. 23. I was glad to see so many residents in attendance¬to the extent where there was standing room only.
Never having spoken at a village meeting, I felt the need for additional information last week. It is my understanding that each speaker is limited to five minutes and after two short questions about the upcoming Halloween party and the Manhasset Bay protection group-which could not have taken more than three minutes¬I was abruptly cut short by Mayor Tomlinson advising me that I was limited to one topic and I had already covered two. How can a resident be limited to just one topic if he/she has additional concerns¬especially if she has not yet reached her five minute limit?
As the evening went on I did not take this action personally as it became apparent to me that the mayor cut several people short, especially if the viewpoint of the speaker was different from the mayor's. He showed very little patience from where I was sitting. Even prior to the meeting he publicly announced that the requests for copies of various village documents was a "bother" and basically asked people for their patience. I think it should work both ways.
Several village residents¬going back several years¬"spoke their minds" about issues on a fairly regular basis and each was given the opportunity to express these views without being attacked or cut short. In the future I hope our current administration will listen to the village residents, whether they agree with them or not. Isn't this the reason for open village meetings?