Speech Police

There is an issue which has been submitted to a County Council committee and I am deeply troubled by what is at stake here. The issue to which I am referring is to restrict topics that may be addressed by citizens from the podium at County Council meetings.

I’ll start with a simple definition: Freedom of Speech – The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction.

My husband, father, uncles and a nephew have all served in our country’s military to defend and uphold our rights as declared by our forefathers in our U.S. Constitution. Should this committee, and ultimately the County Council, vote to restrict topics to issues where Council has direct control, Council would be rejecting what we have come to believe one of our birth rights as American citizens.

Agreed, topics should be related to Fairfield County and not simple, unrelated everyday annoyances; but whether Council has direct control or not, if citizens’ lives or communities are being impacted by situations or circumstances, or even threatened to be, they deserve a right to be heard.

I feel it’s Council’s duty to always be the steward of their citizens’ welfare when they are, as a whole or as a community, being negatively impacted or taken advantage of by the actions of a business or corporation within their community.

If Council feels issues beyond their control are a waste of their time, or they just don’t care, it may be time for these individuals to step aside. Remember, each Council member stepped forward and asked that their constituency elect them to represent their district, yet now they want to pick and chose what issues these same citizens may voice at Council meetings.

Each Council member needs to take some time and think about what they are about to do here. Think about our Constitution, all those who have defended it, and what it means to each American. Then please, consider your stance on restricting topics; do not try to silence those who have put their trust in you by electing you to those privileged chairs.

Pat Williams



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