Government Officials in Lawton, Oklahoma Disable Commenters from Hot-Button Topic
It's a bit ironic that in a town where we regularly hear the booming sounds of freedom, the local mayor, city council, and city manager choose to restrict citizen access to open and public meetings on social media.
Facebook has been quite the buzz the last few days over the potential go/no-go of a new controversial Lawton annual business licensing. While we always know there are two sides to every story, it was beyond challenging to find a single fan of more City of Lawton nickel and diming...
If you've ever logged on to watch a council meeting, they're generally pretty boring. Politics usually are, but once in a while, a hot topic comes up that brings out the passion in the people.
If you can't beat 'em, silence 'em.
At some point last year (likely fallout from the 18+% water bill hike) Lawton started turning the comments off on their live streams, effectively silencing every citizen that couldn't just leave work in the middle of a work day to voice their opinions in person.
While the comment section of these broadcasts wasn't particularly popular until the price-gouging when inflation hit last year, this practice of silencing the people has become the norm.
If you compare today's (2/17/2023) meeting to previous videos on the page, the uptick in online activity could have been a great forum for debate.
Our confidential City of Lawton mole insists the comments are now always turned off because it annoys the mayor and city manager to see viewpoints that don't align with theirs... but that's just the opinion of our inside person until one of those two grows the balls to publically say it.
As a workaround, there are ways to contact literally anyone in city hall... Here is where you'll find the contact details for the mayor, our city councilors, and the city manager.
If you're curious about the outcome of today's special meeting surrounding the uber-unpopular new Lawton business license, the city posted a notice that they've nixed it for now.