Candidate's viewpoint: Joe GrinolsI would like to first address an issue that has been mentioned during this City Council race, before talking about I feel is the most important issue of the race.
I would like to first address an issue that has been mentioned during this City Council race, before talking about I feel is the most important issue of the race.
I support an at-large system of electing City Council members. Woodbury currently uses this method, and it has served Woodbury very well. It allows for citizens, of all parts of Woodbury, the opportunity to run for council seats every two years and mayor every four. Currently I live near St. Ambrose on the corner of Bailey Road and Woodbury Drive.
The area isn’t physically represented with one of our residents on the council, but I feel the council has for the most-part represented all of Woodbury in its decisions. If I felt they did not represent us on one or more issues, then the solution is to run against them in an at-large election, not in an isolated ward race. Now I would like to talk about what I feel is the most important issue of this race.
In 2009 the Woodbury City Council passed an ordinance, which made it illegal to give a speech in a park, without first obtaining a permit from the Police department. The law is unwise and unneeded.
While most political communication today is now carried on electronically, the ability to speak to ones neighbors remains a necessary freedom. Currently a soap box speech is as rare as spotting an American bison in our local parks. We do not have an ordinance against petting the bison, and we do not need one against free speech.
America sought out to nurture the American bison, back from near extinction, in our national park reserves.
We should do the same with free speech and assembly.
Woodbury parks should be preserved for free speech, because like bison, free speech needs space to flourish. Rome had its “Forum,” Greece the “Agora,” London “Speakers Corner,” and Boston "the Common.”
Citizens were able to give speeches in these cities without any permit from the police. We should have Ojibway Park.
Grinols is a candidate for Woodbury City Council