August 31, 2007
Naughty citizens of Canterbury wouldn't behave, so they lost their right to speak.
Now, under pressure from troublemakers at the American Civil Liberties Union, all-knowing members of the board of selectmen say that rowdy residents can say a word or two at the end of their meetings.
It seems that the board of selectmen in Canterbury, a fast-growing town in the vast cornfields of eastern Connecticut, banned all public comment when discourse grew unpleasant at its meetings this spring. The ACLU filed suit alleging denial of constitutional rights - and now town fathers say they will allow a wee bit of public chatter at the end of the meeting.
Of course, that's after all the business has been transacted, but they've got a town to run.
It's hard to believe that in this sad age of civic apathy that any town would seek to prevent its citizens from speaking up.
Well, listen up, comrade, beware of the over-educated, talkative citizen. Canterbury's lawyers - Katherine Rule and Thomas Gerarde of Howd & Ludorf in Hartford - and the Republicans who control town government remind us that this menace must be carefully controlled.