Follow the rules: Commissioners were correct in pointing out point of order
It doesn’t seem like that big a deal — allowing a couple of citizens to have some extra time to speak to the Wayne County Commission in advance of a vote that affects their property.
So, it might seem petty to point out that allowing two community members extra time to speak was not appropriate. But, truth be told, those commissioners who expressed their concern about that decision were absolutely right.
Chairman John Bell erred in allowing extra commentary from one side in the dispute over a salvage yard — especially in light of the fact that he himself voted against the rezoning request.
The commission meetings are supposed to be an equal forum that allows residents to have time to express their concerns to their leaders. The limits are set to make sure there is time to hear everyone — and that all sides get a fair shot to express their viewpoints.
Making an exception for one party is not right or fair, and Bell’s fellow commissioners were correct in pointing out that faux pas.
The commissioners are there to listen, but they must also be fair to all who come before them. Keeping to prescribed time limits is part of maintaining that fairness.
Published in Editorials on April 5, 2007 11:33 AM