Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Meeting Summary 8.4.20

There was only one significant item on the agenda tonight, and that was conforming our fire codes with updates from the County.  We keep aligned as the County is the one that provides fire protection services. 

There were a few public comments that were made that were consistent in theme - those were regarding some signage at Canesa's.  The sign on the masthead has the words "Ammo is expensive, do not expect a warning shot" with an image of a handgun.  A few people found this offensive, or threatening.  Some felt that the city should do something, that this type of speech shouldn't be allowed.  

We don't typically address public comment during the meetings, but as free speech is critically important and should be judiciously guarded, I wanted to address some of the comments made tonight.  There is absolutely nothing the city could or should do with regard to this type of business signage. City action interceding would almost certainly run afoul of the first amendment. People have the right to say what they want, even if the content may be distasteful or offensive to some.  It is important to remember that the protections over speech are not necessary when expressing views that are popular.  Free speech protections are needed for expressing views that are unpopular.  It is in protecting unpopular speech that we demonstrate our principles.  Any time speech is being restricted I would challenge the basis on which such restrictions rest upon.