The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 30, 2013

Need real discussions

Daily Item

---- — I was fortunate to attend the town hall meeting with Senator Pat Toomey. I was thankful that the senator chose to set up these town hall meetings, including the one in Danville on Monday. Unfortunately, it was apparent that the senator was not prepared to have a true discussion with us, his constituents.

Sen. Toomey organized an impressive operation with at least eight staff members stationed throughout the room to observe the crowd. They made calculated decisions on who was allowed to ask questions without challenging their boss with a question for which he was not prepared. They reported their findings to a more senior staff member standing by the senator's side who decided for the senator who would speak to him next.

Additionally, Sen. Toomey danced around questions with long winded answers that not only neglected the actual question but wasted time we needed to ask him more questions. Instead of an open forum or discussion with his constituents, Sen. Toomey chose to control the room and control the risk of having to explain decisions he has made that he knows hurt us, his constituents.

Again, I was thankful that the senator finally reached out to our community with these town hall meetings. Unfortunately, I was quick to learn that it was just a fa├žade. We need real discussions with our Senator because we, his constituents, have real needs that cannot be addressed in the restrained environment our guarded senator and his staff offered.

Marcy George,