Government ‘For the People’ My Tuchas

The meeting is on October 25. That’s a Thursday. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

That’s when the federal government says it wants residents of Callicoon Center to come together to let them know why we think we need our post office.

Three o’clock on a Thursday afternoon.

I wonder who can make it. A few retirees maybe? A farmer who will be watching the clock, knowing that when you’re self-employed every second you’re off the job is money you aren’t making? Even the stay-at-home mothers have children to attend to at that time, probably a few slated to get off the bus any moment.

This is classic government at work. Tell the people you want to hear from them. Then make it as hard as you can for them to show up.

Mine is not the only post office in Sullivan County under attack, ours is not the only meeting time seemingly set to befuddle residents. There are thousands of us being made victims by a system that was built to serve us but has long since forgotten that.

The post office. The county. The towns. They are run for the people if not by the people’s taxes.
But in order to cough up those taxes, most of us have to work. During the daytime. When so many of the powers that be at government agencies see fit to schedule important meetings. Perhaps I’ll come across as paranoid, but at what point do the 10 a.m. work sessions and the 3 p.m. get-together stop being mere oversight and begin being purposeful, meant to keep that annoying public from actually showing up and daring to talk?

We’re speeding toward the nation’s biggest election, a time when opinion columnists (myself included) start reminding voters that they need to get informed. But even I have to admit that sometimes good citizenship is thwarted by government entities that place little value on their citizens.
They schedule meetings at 3 p.m. on a Thursday.

And they still say they’re there “for the public.”

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Image via jelm6/Flickr

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