Morro Bay was filled with threats and swearing not witnessed since televised meetings began. The surprise wasn’t the heated comments; it was how the calm statements expressing confusion leapfrogged into accusations. The message: “If I don’t understand your actions, you must be wrong, and not just wrong, but morally corrupt.”
It was a display of disconnect. Why? Individuals who spoke — employers, chamber officers, city employees, former council members — are intimate with personnel laws safeguarding privacy. Yet, they demanded the council divulge what it should not.
Also vocalized was this: The attorney and manager act professionally at council meetings; there’s no problem. Actually, attendance is a small fraction of their workload, 10 out of 140 hours per month. None of us know the breadth and depth of council knowledge regarding staff’s quantity and quality of work.
Finally, there was the apparent misunderstanding regarding who is in charge. In our representative democracy, the elected individuals are the bosses, not the staff appointed to assist them. Contrary to one statement made — that the council needs to work with staff — it is staff’s job to work with the council. The difference is subtle, but crucial. Otherwise, the voter majority is undermined, and the unelected minority rule.