Editorial attacks effort by President Wills to quash free speech by Board representatives
The Sedona Red Rock newspaper contained a blistering editorial on March 17, 2017 about president Penelope Wills’ efforts to suppress Governing Board members from exercising their right to freely speak about important issues. If Will’s had her way, a representative could never speak to his or her constituents following a vote in which they dissented from the majority. From her perspective, only the leader of the West County voting bloc, Ray Sigafoos could ever brief the media. The elected representatives are to be seen but not heard.
The Sedona Red Rock newspaper Managing editor Christopher Fox Graham made the following analogy as he opened the editorial:
“Imagine the only voice from Congress that Americans heard from was the Speaker of the House. Members of the House of Representatives would not speak to their constituents and every question proffered to them, whether in their local offices, at public events, or before or after major votes was answered with, “I am unable to speak on the matter. Please direct your question to the Speaker of the House, the only person who can speak on behalf of Congress.”
“Insanity, right? Undemocratic? Illogical for an elected body?
“Unfortunately, that is how the Yavapai College Governing Board wants to run itself and is indirectly reprimanding Governing Board members who speak to the public and the press.”
Mr. Graham pointed out that information from the college via Penny Wills has been “nearly impossible to get.” He urged Governing Board members to fight for the First Amendment right to speak your mind and to defy the undemocratic and illogical effort to suppress free speech.
Mr. Graham’s entire editorial can be viewed by clicking here.
Note. You may view the comment at the March 7, 2017 Board meeting on video that has caused the free speech concern by scrolling down this page (or possible clicking to go to next page.)