02/27/12 — Night talk: Nothing wrong with county holding a couple of evening sessions

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Night talk: Nothing wrong with county holding a couple of evening sessions

The reason that public comment periods are planned during meetings is to give the people access to their leaders.

And let's face it, morning meetings do not really allow many people to have that say -- after all, most citizens have to work.

And the Republicans who are pushing to move the county commission meetings to the evening are aware of that -- and using that accessibility issue as the impetus for the suggestion.

Their idea is not a bad one -- even though it really is not practical.

The potential conflicts actually might make the inaccessibility worse when the change interferes with other business conducted by other local groups and few people are actually able to take advantage of the increased access.

But instead of a full-fledged change to evenings, why couldn't the commission have periodic opportunities for people to come join them for a community discussion once every couple of months?

Those who have pressing business can come to the morning meetings -- and follow the rules, no pontificating or politicking.

And those who have questions about county decisions or want to spark discussions of issues that do not fit in the confines of a meeting can take advantage of the new format.

And yes, there should be rules, there, too.

One would hope that one political party would not use the opportunity to claw at its opposition -- or that another would not shut down discussion of a concern because it has the votes to do so.

There is nothing wrong with asking the community what it wants to see as a priority and to use an extra session to listen to ideas and concerns.

And there is also nothing wrong with making sure that that discussion stays pure -- and is really about concerns, questions and suggestions.

And if, in the end, that is the goal, neither side should have a problem with trying the idea to see what happens.

Published in Editorials on February 27, 2012 10:47 AM