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Question for public service people that deal with the public, particularly planners, are you empowered at all to push back? I've been to public meetings before when some citizens were bat$hit crazy, and spouting off and berating staff, who just mutely take it. In the jurisdiction that I live in, I have heard from planners that its not a desired place to work for because the citizens can really be obnoxious intense and use public forums as platforms for various grievances. The are also quite prolific with emails and phone calls, which they expect to be returned immediately. Naturally, most of their complaints have to do with policy and not the people who attempt to administer them, but to them it makes no difference.

If a citizen tries to rip you a new one, berates you personally in public, etc., you just have to take it and senior staff will not back you up or try to turn down the heat. I've seen the antics of people at meetings, which is one of the reasons why I stopped attending public meetings because they're largely useless forums that repeatedly draw the same case of characters repeating the same complaints and firing at the same targets over and over. I admire that public servants can stay cool and put up with a lot, but you shouldn't have to.

by spookiness on Feb 19, 2013 10:43 am • linkreport

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