Truit Strikes Again

In what has gotten to be a pretty regular occurrence, self appointed local government watchdog, Richard Truit, has purchased another ad in the News Herald accusing the county commissioners and the mayor of taking away his right of free speech at commission meetings. Not a half page ad this time but a full page ad. Problem is, there's nothing reported in the ad that would be illegal, inappropriate or even a little bit wrong.

Mr. Truit, you may remember, was the gentleman who made the public records request earlier this year where he asked for all government related communications between the county mayor and all ten commissioners for about a thirty day time period. Mr. Truit's request was fulfilled at a cost to tax payers of more than $8,000.00. I can only assume that Mr. Truit spent thousands of dollars of his own money hiring a lawyer to sift through all those documents for eight hours.

Mr. Truit and others were upset when the new commission chairman, with the full support of the commission, changed the public comment period from twice per meeting to once per meeting. Use to be the public commented on items on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting and issues not on the agenda at the end of the meeting. The change moved all public comment to the beginning of the meeting regardless of whether an issue was or was not on the agenda.

Truit's ad has several excerpts from news stories, a few quotes from the thousands of documents in his records requests and a few statements that frankly, make no sense. I did notice that a lot of the excerpts were cut short or not given any context. Sounds like a little manipulation of the facts to me. 

Think about this. Here's a man that's so angry he doesn't get to talk twice at every meeting that he has spent thousands on legal fees and news paper ads to try to besmirch the character of commissioners and the mayor.

Not one citizen has been denied one second, not one second of speaking time before the commission at the workshops or commission meetings. Yet to hear Mr. Truit tell it, we've hogtied and gagged citizens to keep them from addressing the commission. No matter how many times he says it, it still doesn't make it true.  

Given that Mr. Truit doesn't carry a camera at the meetings and given that the other self appointed, local government watchdog, Pat Hunter, does, I can only assume he got the pictures for his ad from her. I would ask that Mr. Truit go all in and pay for a full color ad next time. I think my picture looked pretty good but it was hard to tell in the black and white.

Below is the full page ad. You can't really see all the details but it gives you the gist. You may want to spend the seventy-five cents to get your own copy.

By the way, notice that my picture rated space along side the mayor and chairman. Guess I'm special.