Here is a copy of the email.
I am troubled by your characterization of citizens expressing their First Amendment right to free speech in your article referenced below.
“Some of the opponents of the proposed water sale have taken over recent MID board meetings, throwing out verbal bombshells and making rude and reckless accusations against some board members. We understand that they sometimes feel like they’re under attack.”
Just between you and me, hey, please give me the names of the persons who have “taken over the MID Board meetings”? I have been to every one except April 3, 2012, since October 2011. All I know is that Tom Van Groningen has limited citizens comment time from a bare five (5) minutes to the minuscule 3 minutes (3) per person to discuss complex issues. It is hard to imagine a “3-MINUTE TAKE OVER” with two and sometimes three (3) heavily-armed guards. Refresh my memory, have the Modesto Police been called yet? You were there . . . I can’t remember.
I would also be interested in which of their statements you consider “verbal bombshells”, “rude and reckless accusations”. I am sure you have copies of all the Board meeting videos since last October, as do I, and it would not take much to provide proof of your assertions. I am trying to understand your criteria for your claims. I find it a little irrational that you criticize the very persons you need to stay in business, or maybe Joe does not need, . . . you know the residents of Modesto. Actually, I am trying to determine if your assertions in this article are “reckless accusations”. So, let’s get to it. Show me your cards. Who, When, and What did they say. Then we can compare that to the words of the “most civil” MID Board Chairman Tom Van Groningen, personally civility-trained by the almighty Carol Whiteside.
Also, I would be interested in your characterization of any citizen who goes to the microphone and speaks to a position, for or against, that is paid to promote that position, and does not declare to the Board, or the rest of the public, that they are being paid to promote and sell us, and how much? Does that sound OK to you? You know, there might be an article there, not sure. You might want to look into that. I have lots of leads for you if you are interested. Lots of leads.
I eagerly look forward to your reply.
Civilly, Reed Smith