Frank Hielema is a native of Oxford, NC. He holds an undergraduate degree in physical therapy, and his PhD in epidemiology from UNC, Chapel Hill. His areas of focus in epidemiology have been health services research and injuries. He has lived in his present home in Raleigh for 31 years.
Frank sent the following email to City Council with his thoughts on the Public Comments discussion from Day One of the City Council Retreat:
Councilors Black, Patton, Branch, Harrison, Jones, and Melton, and City Attorney McDonald:
I am disturbed by my understanding that Ms. McDonald has recommended that no AV presentations be allowed during public comment sessions at Council.
I consider presentations to be a part of free speech.
They are an important part of being able to make Council and the public aware of the issue causing concern.
For example, when I have used presentations, they have allowed me to better show the orientation of a townhome development proposed in the single family neighborhood of Woodcrest. I have used presentations to show where mixed-use development would be beneficial along major traffic arteries. I have used a presentation to demonstrate that citizens want to feel heard just as much as the mayor desires this.
I would also note the examples of presentations given by Woody Biggs which have visually shown the extent of weekend violence along Glenwood South. I attribute the improved enforcement with decreasing violence along this corridor to Mr. Biggs’ presentations at Council.
Presentations are effective.
The vast majority of viewers, in person or in the presentation of public comments by the city via Raleigh TV, are adults. Everything presented is real world and is essential to understanding our world, locally, nationally or internationally we live in. Do not censor this.
Please DO NOT limit the ability of the public to be understood by adopting a NO PRESENTATION policy.
As the adage goes: ONE PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.
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