Letter: Unnerved at behavior at town council meeting

To the editor:

On Oct. 6, 2016, I attended the public meeting of the Nashville Town Council. I do not live in Nashville, but I was asked by the town to serve on one of their committees and do so.

I was appalled by the actions of council President Charles King, who led the meeting.

A written agenda was distributed that stated no guidelines or limitations for presenters; nor were any given verbally.

The first citizen was asked to speak and proceeded to calmly present research and discuss the appropriate agenda item. Suddenly, without any provocation or any warning, King rudely began shouting at the individual, telling them to shut up and sit down.

Was he wrong? Yes. An audience member reacted to his outburst by starting their cellphone video. Observing the cellphone, King later apologized. Within a couple of days, two other council members also apologized to the presenter.

Since the meeting I have talked about this incident with a number of people who regularly deal with the town. Unfortunately, I normally received a response that included a recent negative town-related experience.

Organizational behavior patterns start at the top. If the town desires to prosper, it must treat local citizens and those interested in joining them with respect. Town officials need drastic improvement in this area, and that improvement must start at the top.

Ken Birkemeier, Jackson Branch Ridge


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