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Commissioner’s behavior is unacceptable

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

Apparently, Dixon City Commissioner David Blackburn doesn’t have much patience or desire to hear from people who have concerns or suggestions regarding city projects.

As an architect with more than 50 years’ design experience and an office in Dixon almost as long, I was addressing the council at the meeting May 19 asking consideration for some design changes for two areas of the streetscape project that was soon to begin.

I and many others, including a landscape architect and sculptor, are concerned about loss of existing landscaping, trees, open space, appropriateness of space for planned sculpture, and other design issues. I was but one of several asking the council to make some changes before it was too late.

Commissioner Blackburn, with no regard for proper decorum or respect, shouted at me, “If you want to set city policy, McLane, move to Dixon and run for city council!”

I was not attempting to “set policy.” I was asking the powers that be to consider taking a second look and changing some things that many citizens feel should be changed.

I believe everyone in attendance was shocked by Commissioner Blackburn’s uncalled for and inappropriate outburst. The public should expect to receive professional, courteous behavior from their elected representatives. The heated discussion that evening came from the panel at the front of the room, not from the people offering public comment.

I feel he owes me an apology. I’d be pleasantly surprised if that happened. If it does, I’ll let you know.

What I have to say to Commissioner Blackburn is this: Maybe it’s time you stop being involved in city policy if you can’t be professional about it. I’ve heard you won’t run again. If so, that’s a wise choice.

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