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Meeting was not as combative as media implied

Posted

To the editor:

To the ladies and gentlemen who attended the Charter Information Forum on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018:

Thank you for your (mostly) polite and courteous conversation on why the City Council voted to submit five propositions to modify our City Charter to the citizens of Altus.

With only two exceptions, we had a question and answer conversation where all who stated opinions, asked questions and answered questions, did so with a normal tone of voice and lack of drama.

After reading a few Social Media posts and The Altus Times article on Wednesday, Oct. 24, I had to wonder if we were at the same meeting. I did have a conversation with one person after the meeting ended and I believe we both listened to each other and were willing to see the other’s position, without objection. We agreed to disagree, politely with respect for each other.

I want to address the comments of two individuals who spoke, Ron Osterhouse and former Chief of Police Mike Patterson.

Mr. Osterhouse recounted a story of a conflict with the Street Commissioner. The Street Commissioner refused to accept the complaints and objections of Mr. Osterhouse which resulted in the Street Commissioner being voted out of office at the next election. I believe it was within a few months of the incident. What if the Street Commissioner had over three years before the next election? How would he have gotten relief from an overbearing Street Commissioner until the next election?

Retired Chief Patterson told a story I have heard at least once or twice before. As Chief of Police when a new City Manger was hired, the manager told him “I have never had a Chief of Police I could not control.” Mike was able to imply a negative implication to the word control.

I want to look at the word “control” from different situations.

Parents “control” their children, teachers control their students, managers control their subordinates, I could go on. Are these “controls” bad?

A definition of “Control”:

“The whole operation is under the control of a production manager.”

“He was appointed to control the company’s marketing strategy.”

I suggest to you that the word “control” is not a negative word. It can simply mean the ability of the person in charge to operate the organization within the limits of his or her authority. Do what they were hired to do.

At least three individuals spoke in favor of these propositions and from personal conversations with others present, these three are not the only ones who are in favor of the propositions.

Jon Kidwell

Altus Councilman Ward II

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