Citizens should be heard

 


Editor,

The Mayor’s letter to the editor on Dec. 24th in the Saratoga Sun gave the impression that the people willing to attend meetings and offer a different opinion were all rebels, instead of being people who believe strongly in the voice of the public. People that believe open government should be just that: open. They do not expect the governing body to always agree with them, they want the governing body to hear different opinions in hopes that they too will have a good open discussion before voting on issues that affect the Town of Saratoga.

One has to be brave to address the council, to be well informed before addressing issues and probably most important one tries not to present issues in a bullying manner. Being threatened with removal from the meeting for politely expressing one’s opinion is intimidating to say the least and The town council agenda did not include a place for public comment and when it was added to the agenda it was placed as the last item of the meeting. The result of this is that any comments on items up for vote would have to be made after the vote. In that frame, the people’s opinion would basically be of no value. That is why the public asks questions or makes statements before the vote. That is not meant to be rude, unruly, disrespectful or disruptive; it is more for information. This input is requesting council members to please state an opinion or give information about the issue. When an item is brought to your attention, have you known this item would be up for vote before the meeting?


It is so very important that public meetings be public; that information, new ideas, and concerns are shared in an open forum. Basically, that is the foundation of our government, open meetings.

My last comment as a part of the group who has decided to give of their time to attend these meetings, I do so with a passion for open government. I feel strongly that my voice is one of the voices of the public. I do no expect a blanket agreement of my opinion. I expect discussion and compromises in order to develop a final product of good statesmanship.

Respectfully,

Glee Johnson

 

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