Brian Baker: Different view of meeting
By Brian Baker
Thursday, May 17th, 2018

How interesting.

Over the last few days, since the City Council’s May 8 open meeting at which they voted to oppose “sanctuary state” status, I’ve read a couple of letters published in The Signal, as well as the staff’s own editorial, characterizing the meeting as being pretty much an out-of-control near-riot.

Having been there myself, and addressed the Council, I have to wonder if those people are talking about the same meeting I attended.

As I discussed in my last column (“Mission Accomplished”, May 10), though emotions ran high I thought Mayor Weste did a pretty good job of keeping things under control and moving forward.

I was in the back of the room and could see pretty much everything that was happening. Contrary to Roselva Ungar’s assertions that it was the “red hats” causing all the commotion (“Shocked at behavior,” May 15), both sides had their adherents periodically misbehaving by waving their signs and placards, and shouting or speaking loudly against speakers who represented the opposing view.

The Signal’s own editorial (“A dark hour for discussion,” May 15) took the position that the deputies should have ejected the boisterous, or the entire meeting should have been cancelled and adjourned. Well, all I can say is, welcome to the modern era.

Maybe ejecting some of the misbehavers would have quieted down those who remained. We’ll never know, but it also could have led to a much nastier scene. Our modern political zeitgeist would encompass either outcome. Mayor Weste clearly decided to play it safe.

But adjourning the meeting would have been the wrong move to make. It would have been a de facto capitulation to “sanctuary state” supporters if the city failed to address the issue one way or the other once it was on the agenda. This is a favored tactic of, primarily, the left, as we see on campuses regularly when they stage raucous “protests’ and effectively shut down scheduled events and prevent conservative speakers from making their speeches and presentations.

Are we to allow our own City Council meetings to be victimized the same way?

There are those who say we shouldn’t have been involved in this issue at all, but why would that be true (unless, of course, you didn’t like the outcome)? This state is a part of the Union yet felt free to declare its own immigration policy. By that same logic we’re a part of this state and are perfectly free to declare our opposition to that policy. In fact, if we had our own police force instead of contracting with the county sheriff, I think it would have been interesting to instruct our cops to disregard the state’s edict altogether.

As to any “expense” incurred, as I mentioned in my last column it will be pretty minimal, since all we’re doing is filing an amicus brief in support of the suit against the state that’s already been filed by the federal Justice Department. The staff attorneys can do that, and they’re on salary.

Ultimately, it boils down to this: Why on earth should we be laying out a “welcome mat” (per Alan Blake in “Legal immigrant’s response”, May 15) for illegal aliens? What part of “illegal” do people not understand?

Brian Baker
Saugus

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Brian Baker

Brian Baker

Brian Baker: Different view of meeting

How interesting.

Over the last few days, since the City Council’s May 8 open meeting at which they voted to oppose “sanctuary state” status, I’ve read a couple of letters published in The Signal, as well as the staff’s own editorial, characterizing the meeting as being pretty much an out-of-control near-riot.

Having been there myself, and addressed the Council, I have to wonder if those people are talking about the same meeting I attended.

As I discussed in my last column (“Mission Accomplished”, May 10), though emotions ran high I thought Mayor Weste did a pretty good job of keeping things under control and moving forward.

I was in the back of the room and could see pretty much everything that was happening. Contrary to Roselva Ungar’s assertions that it was the “red hats” causing all the commotion (“Shocked at behavior,” May 15), both sides had their adherents periodically misbehaving by waving their signs and placards, and shouting or speaking loudly against speakers who represented the opposing view.

The Signal’s own editorial (“A dark hour for discussion,” May 15) took the position that the deputies should have ejected the boisterous, or the entire meeting should have been cancelled and adjourned. Well, all I can say is, welcome to the modern era.

Maybe ejecting some of the misbehavers would have quieted down those who remained. We’ll never know, but it also could have led to a much nastier scene. Our modern political zeitgeist would encompass either outcome. Mayor Weste clearly decided to play it safe.

But adjourning the meeting would have been the wrong move to make. It would have been a de facto capitulation to “sanctuary state” supporters if the city failed to address the issue one way or the other once it was on the agenda. This is a favored tactic of, primarily, the left, as we see on campuses regularly when they stage raucous “protests’ and effectively shut down scheduled events and prevent conservative speakers from making their speeches and presentations.

Are we to allow our own City Council meetings to be victimized the same way?

There are those who say we shouldn’t have been involved in this issue at all, but why would that be true (unless, of course, you didn’t like the outcome)? This state is a part of the Union yet felt free to declare its own immigration policy. By that same logic we’re a part of this state and are perfectly free to declare our opposition to that policy. In fact, if we had our own police force instead of contracting with the county sheriff, I think it would have been interesting to instruct our cops to disregard the state’s edict altogether.

As to any “expense” incurred, as I mentioned in my last column it will be pretty minimal, since all we’re doing is filing an amicus brief in support of the suit against the state that’s already been filed by the federal Justice Department. The staff attorneys can do that, and they’re on salary.

Ultimately, it boils down to this: Why on earth should we be laying out a “welcome mat” (per Alan Blake in “Legal immigrant’s response”, May 15) for illegal aliens? What part of “illegal” do people not understand?

Brian Baker
Saugus