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County Council, January 19

Citizens: comments to be heard at beginning of Council meetings

Warwick Jones

As County Administrator O'Neal noted at the close, yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting was the shortest in his memory. The explanation was that there was very little on the agenda.

The only thing of note arising from the meeting was the decision to begin Council meetings at 6.30 pm instead of 7 pm. As well, the citizens’ comments session would now be heard at the beginning of the meeting and extend to 30 minutes. Chairman Pryor said that the move would be given a 90 day trial and then reviewed as to its success. Council meetings will still be held on every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month and Finance Committee meetings on the preceding Thursday..

We think moving citizen comments from the end to the beginning of a Council meeting is positive. In the past, citizens had no opportunity, unless public hearings were scheduled, to comment on many issues until Council had voted. There was no opportunity for a citizen to speak at a Finance Committee meeting and comments at the following Council meeting could only be made at the end of the meeting, after Council has voted. Citizens will be better served by the rescheduling.

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