Missouri City Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Wyatt, upset by the increased social media use among Missouri City-area residents, ordered the police chief to monitor the residents use of their electronic communications. Wyatt’s order to the Missouri City Police Chief was given after more than 50 area residents spoke during the public comment portion of the October 7th city council meeting.
Jerry is upset over law-abiding citizens use of social media as a forum to meet, educate each other and propose plans to improve Missouri City.
During the meeting, (48 minute mark) Wyatt displayed three screen shots of a Facebook Group page with residents names unredacted because a picture of Jerry Wyatt and a video of council member Floyd Emery were posted on the Group page.
Wyatt’s photo was published because he voted IN OPPOSITION of the ordinance to allow for deviations to the architectural and signage regulations for a “Raising Cane’s” restaurant. His vote in opposition to another fast food restaurant stood in stark contrast to his patronage OF the same fast food restaurant, while residents’ felt their requests to attract healthier restaurant choices was being ignored.
The video of Emery at the City Center was published because the Missouri City Recreation & Leisure LGC Statement of Net Assets lists a ($465,000) change in net assets and this change has been a discussion point among the residents on Facebook.
Jerry is upset over law-abiding citizens use of social media as a forum to meet, educate each other and propose plans to improve Missouri City. And Mayor Owen is so angry residents are questioning his leadership (1:11:30 minute mark) and claims there’s nothing to cut, that he is fear mongering by threatening cuts to sidewalks, street repairs and park maintenance, and the potential for lower bond ratings while admonishing them for “running their mouths about it”.
When you’re a public figure your decisions and votes are always under scrutiny. That is the life you chose.
And competition for readership among blogs & social media is healthy for the public discourse.
I am glad council discussed the code enforcement, code violation, foreclosure and abandon property issues during the October 7th meeting, but good grief is it necessary for the Mayor Pro-Tem to order a violation the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens as they petition government for redress?
C’mon council; you guys are all better than this.
* I leveraged this Examiner article inspiration for this post.
** In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a member of the Facebook Group mentioned in this post.