A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Stay out of city court: Here’s why

Written January 16th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Here you see yet another reason — in addition to the countless others — that makes it wise to avoid having to sit in Albany Municipal Court: New and uncomfortable seats.

The thinly upholstered chairs in the city courtroom were replaced in time for the start of the new year. The replacements are plastic, and they are hard. I first saw them and sat on one when the city council held its first work session of 2017 on Jan. 9. (Presumably to encourage a more informal atmosphere, most of the council’s work sessions are held in the courtroom rather than the council chambers.)

As I understood from Wes Hare, the city manager, the old chairs were pretty worn, apparently, and they weren’t all that easy to keep clean. There might have been an occasional issue with aroma. The new ones present no such complications. They look like they’re easy to wipe off.

Unfortunately, they are also designed so that you have to sit up straight lest you slide off. No napping in these chairs. So they may, in fact, be ideal for a court. Get in and get out quick. Keep the proceedings short. (Not a bad goal for council debates either, come to think of it.)

Better yet, of course: Don’t speed, keep mounds of trash outside your house, or violate the municipal code in any of the other ways that might land you in the city court. (hh)

4 responses to “Stay out of city court: Here’s why”

  1. John Hartman says:

    Not to put too fine a point to it, but the seats are, in the vernacular, “butt ugly.”

    Now, I realize that these next few thoughts might be considered controversial, but bear me out. You are free to ridicule me later.

    We already know that most reasonable people are not enamored by taxes, nor by the underlying governing structure that spends those taxes for services.

    Part of the reining-in government are cost-control measures governing purchasing and requisitions, such as public seating in City facilities so described by Mr. Hering. As an aside: Hering ought be awarded something meritorious or other just for having the strength-of-keister to endure the session he describes in such painful detail.

    Government agencies are typically required to seek multiple vendors on acquisitions such as public seating in the courtroom. While not cast in stone, it is generally accepted practice that the government agency doing the requisitioning accepts the lowest bid.

    Imagine the great joy and merriment brought to the person in City Hall who signed-off on the P.O. that made this brutish seating possible. As Hasso has already testified in public, spending more than a moment strapped to an Albany Muni-Court chair falls somewhere between water boarding and being whipped with wet spaghetti.

    I challenge Hasso to explore this story more deeply. His avid readership want to know the quality of the chairs used by City Council members who are, after all, unpaid. Do the Governing Elite park their fannies on feathers, or do they sit like the rest of us in the Cheap Seats?

  2. hj.anony1 says:

    Does give fresh, knew meaning to “butt hurt” of which I have plenty! Sitting in one of those “chairs” will surely provide that numbing pain we all know too well. If not, pay them a visit and take a ride.

  3. centrist says:

    They also serve who only stand…………….

  4. Shawn Dawson says:

    If one is going to sit through a lengthy meeting, just bring in your own comfortable folding chair. One does not have to use the chair provided.

    Or heck, I have no problem sitting on the floor with my back to a wall if it is more comfortable.


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