Respect should work both ways at city commission

Jan 29, 2013


My topic this week is about extending professional courtesy.

I think the city reporter should get some kind of award for his diligence. Sometimes his job can be easy and other times it can be downright excruciating and very frustrating just trying to get any news from the city to write about.

I watch the city reporter stand up at the podium every city meeting and he tries very hard to be polite and patient while waiting for his questions to be answered. Some city staff and commissioners try to humiliate him and find ways to loop through his questions so they don’t have to answer them.      

Something is very wrong at City Hall when there is so much hostility towards a newspaper reporter. At the last meeting, I watched a City Commissioner reprimand the reporter while everyone looked on.

If it were not for the newspaper, we would not know what is going on in our community.  The reporter can go where the average person can’t possibly go to obtain information. Asking for accountability, transparency, and public records shouldn’t be misconstrued as being negative when trying to seek out the answers.

Before I retired, I serviced the public my entire working career.  I was responsible for that very first impression of my company either by phone or someone visiting the company.  I was always taught to service the customers to the best of my ability and always be professional at all times. It doesn’t matter if you are having a bad day or something is going on in your personal life, the performance needs to be there.       

The commissioners demand that the citizens at the podium show them respect when addressing them but that works both ways, especially, when the taxpayer standing at the podium pays their salaries and ranks at the top of the organization chart.  A hostile environment should not exist towards the citizens who are seeking answers as to what kind of progress is being made at City Hall. Charter members, Commissioners, and the City Manager need to set an example for staff as to how customer service should be professionally implemented.

Until next week, attitudes at the city must be changed in order to service the public with the utmost respect they so deserve and anything less then that is unacceptable.



Andy Ouriel, Government Reporter for SR is also a city resident and is entitle to the same respect and responsiveness as any other resident. As a taxpayer of City Income tax, he is the City Commissioner's ultimate employer in addition to being the source of information to the voters.


exception: when he is working, he is not a taxpayer, but an employee. As such, he should be showing even MORE respect to those on the Commission if he wants to get a story from them, expects to get quotes from them or wants them to cooperate. You get more flys with honey then you do with vinegar. While he is always a taxpayer, you cannot wear two hats at the same time. One must go when you are at work. The taxpayer one must come off.


" Mommas don't let your cowboys grow up to be babies..."




The only way to change city hall is to change the players. I can't wait for the next election. No one should be reelected.


Born and bred. Funny every time. Drop that litter off at the Human Society.


There's some interesting turns of phrase in this one. Not sure what your job was but your use of "serviced" and "the public" seems quite odd. You mean you "served" "customers" assuming you worked in the private sector.

Should Andy O. be publicly humiliated? Yeah, why not? If you, dear reader, were arrested for even the most minor of crimes Andy, Sara Weber, and Matt Easterly would happily print it to humiliate you as a public service.

Julie R.

I think Sharon Johnson is spot-on with this one. Trying to humiliate a reporter for asking questions is juvenile. Maybe they need to grow up already and get some class.


Perhaps, if the SR had shown some respect to the City Commissioners, he would not have found himself in that position. Week after week, the city commissioners of late, (except Poole and Cole) have found themselves on the receiving end of one humiliating comment after another written by Matt Westerhold and Andy O.

When you enter the den of those you humiliate each and every week, expect to get your ears batted back like that, especially when just the week before this happened, you printed a particularly NASTY expose on the commissioners (again, except for Cole and Poole). That should tell you something.

Respect is not demanded, it is earned. If Andy wishes to be respected by those on council, he needs to SHOW some respect to the very people he vilifiles the very week before. Otherwise, he can expect to be treated with the same distain with which he treats those he is writing about.

I doubt those people would have said a word, had he not been so angry when he spoke to them. (I was there that day, he insighted that a bit). You cannot DEMAND information the way he did, or take such a tone of voice with a legistature as he did that night without getting your ears boxed back. Sorry, but your cannot. That never works. Respect has to be mutual.