A City That’s Worse Off Than Bell, Sorta

Finally, something the citizens of Bell can take heart from: there is a city where council meetings are more out of control, than in their town. Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire. In Keene, they arrest people for playing drinking games –in the city council chambers– while the council is meeting.

Apparently Keene’s elders were debating loosening the city’s open-container law, when several spectators in the audience started drinking from cans or bottles labeled “not a beer.” This is what passes for humor, or taking a stand, or both, in Keene. Anyhooo, the mayor told them to knock it off, but they didn’t get the hint. So the local paper says three people got busted for disorderly conduct.

Unless the spectators really were hootin’ and hollerin,’ seeing them charged with disorderly conduct seems to me like overreaction on the mayor’s part. But –as an unnamed current President of the United States once famously said– “I don’t know… all the facts.”

I do know this, though: it is worse for the mayor to silence his opponents in such a way, than to take a salary-and-perks package that comes out to about a million dollars a year, including 20 weeks of paid vacation, from a broke city of 36,000 working-class residents. Oh wait. No it’s not. Bell has it much worse than Keene.



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