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New city council won't let mayor continue illegal position

| February 9, 2006 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

I didn't want to get into another latter writing campaign but now that I am not allowed to speak at council meetings, I have no recourse.

Yes, the mayor and his attorney have suspended the constitution and have ordered me not to speak in matters of public concern.

I recently was forced to go to court to retain the right to enter City Hall. In the course of my contracting business it is necessary for me to do business there and they wanted to be able to force me out of this public venue in a manner that would harm my business. I whooped 'em in court and now they are forced to put up with my ugly mug in their castle. Now I can be in the meetings but they want to limit my ability to ask questions about their non-public deliberations.

The mayor would not recognize me and told me that he had decided to enforce an irrelevant and obscure city council rule pertaining to how you address the council and I was shut out for two months. My questions concerning the $8 million fund will never get entered in the public record because the mayor and his attorney believe questions are accusations.

I don't think the new honest and intelligent council is going to put up with being involved in anything so un-American. These antics reflect on them and they have shown that they are willing to keep their oath to support and defend the Constitution.

My conversations with individual councilpeople reveal that the mayor didn't fully disclose the nature of his latest tactic of intimidation before he pulled this trick. It caught them off guard, but they have opportunity to remedy the situation. This will be a test to prove whether the council will have a voice in these matters or whether city government has degenerated into a dictatorship.

I won't go into a long dissertation on how and why this latest move is illegal, I think most people have a working understanding of First Amendment rights and the difference between a government of reason and a government of force. It has been an $8 million lesson in Libby.

I intent to speak at the next meeting because the mayor and his attorney can do a lot of damage in two months. I'll let you know how it went.

D.C. Orr