Teen Charlotte Schiferl Calls for Respect and Responsibility
OnFocus – At the age of 14, Charlotte Schiferl is one of the youngest Marshfield citizens to speak at Citizen Comments. Tuesday, Charlotte addressed members of the Common Council.
“I have been watching the meetings for a little over a year now and would like to address our council and fellow residents,” Charlotte said. “First, to our elected officials: It can’t be easy to come here and have people come up to this podium every week just to yell at you for doing your job. I appreciate the time you give to the city and its residents. I watched the mayor hearing and I know that wasn’t an easy decision to make.”
Charlotte said she was motivated to comment at the meeting because she saw the way the alderpeople were “being called names and belittled.”
“I recognized the fact that the council was not being treated with the respect that all human beings deserve and that was wrong,” she said. “It really motivated me to write my message and read it to the council and anyone watching.”
For example, at recent meetings of the Common Council, members have been called “a cancer,” “clowns,” and “kingmakers.”
Charlotte therefore directed her next public remarks to the citizens: “Yes, we do have a right to come up here and speak and have different opinions, but please be respectful in doing so. No name calling. While we all have the right to freedom of speech, we also have the responsibility to be respectful.”
Her final remark was to the Council: “The decisions you make will impact whether my generation will want to come back here.”
Charlotte first became interested in city government while watching Common Council meetings with her parents, Rob and Jessica Schiferl.
“It was interesting to see how the council operated and what people had to say to them,” she said. “I believe it is important to be informed and know what is happening even if I can’t vote because Marshfield is my home, too.”
Charlotte said that the there are several issues that piqued her interest.
“Issues that were important to me include the debate about raising taxes, the closing of city buildings in early 2020 due to the pandemic, and what to do about the former mayor,” she said.
Any citizen is welcome to speak at public comments during these meetings. To learn more, visit the City of Marshfield website.
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