I attended my first Astoria City Council meeting Dec. 3. Code changes were on the docket, and talk was that people were going to try to persuade the council to hold off on the vote until certain changes were made.
On entering the council room, I heard a baby crying and saw what I would consider a rather significant police presence. I did not know this issue was so divisive.
I watched from the back of the room as the council began to plow through their agenda for the night. When the issue of home stay lodging came up, to my surprise, the mayor opened it up for comment.
People streamed to the podium, making their views known in no uncertain terms. Their voices were heard. Everyone got their chance and had their say.
The pens came out, changes were made. But it did not turn out as I had hoped. The vote was taken, 5-0. The code changes were approved. Legislation small and petty, but so it goes.
But thinking back on the night, the loudest voice Monday night was the one of a baby crying for her daddy, and that daddy is now our new police officer. So in the end, the baby got what she wanted, and I got my two takeaways:
No. 1: The City Council bent over backwards to make sure everyone was heard.
No. 2: We all won, we all will be safer because our new police officer was sworn in.
Welcome to Astoria.