Elected Board Member's Wife... and Opinions That are Strictly My Own


Elected Board Member's Wife... and Opinions That are Strictly My Own

24 May 2014 at 1:56:16 PM

Been mulling this over for the past day or so, finally ka-chinked into a solid decision about this. Readers know that I have, off and on, been recording government meetings for a number of years, on my own, using my own video camera which is MY camera; hub got that for me as a birthday present one year. I have never once done a meeting at the behest of a government entity nor been paid for it. I quit going to meetings a couple of years ago because I was irritated at public government, and decided at that point that if I was interested in a meeting, I would get the audio and listen to it. I believe that every single government entity has audio for meetings, although not all necessarily post it on their website, the way Somervell County Commissioners Court does. After I have listened to the audio, very often I have an opinion about what happened, and just as often have expressed it here. I don't run around to other public websites and engage in verbal battles, personal attacks, etc, as some do; my venue is here, in the website I created, programmed, and run for years. 

Although some may not have always enjoyed my *take* on proceedings at meetings, I have never, except initially, had anyone dispute my right as a private citizen to record an open meeting, per the Texas Open Meetings Act. Quite often when I was heavily recording meetings, I was the only one who did record a meeting; otherwise even an audio would not have been available. Of course now with all meetings doing a pretty dang good job making sure there's a recording (and there doesn't have to be, you understand, but it's great when local govt does it), although I still prefer video over audio, I don't feel compelled to go to meetings just to record. I have also never once been in a situation until this last week where rude, disruptive people acted like thugs and decided that they were entitled to talk incessantly, make catcalls from the back of the room, laugh it up, make comments without being recognized,  interrupt the proceedings, etc. I made the decision ABOUT MY VIDEO that I wasn't going to post something that would thrill the socks off those boors, where they would say "Hear that? That was ME insulting the board from the back of the room, Ain't I Great?". I also recorded some pretty nasty comments people were making about the board, including some where people apparently didn't understand that their private comments were being recorded by my camera ON A TRIPOD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BACK FOYER, and from at least one self-appointed wanna be community leader who apparently thought yelling out of turn from the back was perfectly fine despite supposedly understanding TOMA. (I believe that had the situation been reversed, with people FOR the hospital district taxes on the dais and a bunch of loudmouths and boors in the back interrupting, those same people who felt it was okay to act that way would have been up in arms. Guess it's a double standard based on which way the wind blows or maybe when people's choices don't win a fair election. Shame on them). Also, for 3/4 of the video, I could see that the board members WERE talking, because I saw their lips moving but I couldn't hear over the din what they said. I'm just not posting that. I heard that someone else had an audio made from a front row seat where you could actually hear and that's good. NO ONE told me not to post the video, there WERE a couple of parts on it that would make the board uncomfortable, but the reason *I* didn't do it was not to feed the circus , and again, my video recording was all about the noise and rude comments and NOT about hearing the board proceedings. And believe me, there have been times when hub and I DO NOT AGREE, but I have never felt it required me to *obey*. 

I have to admit that since I"m married to a board member, I enjoy thinking about watching him on video. If you love your mate, then that's most likely how you would feel too. Ask any parent that video records their child in a school or sporting event, or anyone that watches a wedding or anniversary event.  I've been told that the board is going to not only do audio and post it but video as well, and so really there isn't going to be a necessity for me to have to come just to record him. 

What has been disturbing me this week is hearing that some people (usually men) think they can tell my husband to tell me what to do, assume that HE is making a decision about MY video, etc. One time I was invited to come record a walkthrough of Panther Cave, and one of the attendees, a man, told me that he was glad to see that my husband had allowed me to have the video camera. I don't think I said anything back, but I was internally shocked in this day and age that any one would be such a dinosaur as to assume, first, that it wasn't my own camera and second, that I had to get *permission* from my husband to use it. 

On a different note, I'm opinionated, no doubt about it, and you all know it too. I'm going to, from here on out, get the same information in the same way as anyone else who either attends a meeting or wants to look at the information afterwards by going to where it's posted on the government website, at least for hospital district meetings. Not going to come record, even though I have every right to, to take myself out of an equation regarding what Hub Should Require His Wife To Do. The spouses of the board members are not the elected ones, and I consider myself at the same level as any other citizen of Somervell County. People will just have to find other things to express to him that don't involve me, it simply seems like an unnecessary distraction. 


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