Letter: Council Must be More Open, Informative to Citizens

A citizen-centric county council looks for ways to expand opportunities to communicate with and listen to the people.

At last Monday’s meeting, Fairfield’s County Council seemingly lacked the characteristics of council working for its citizens.

The last council meeting was a very important meeting, including the vote on the wastewater treatment plant location, yet this meeting was not broadcast via YouTube. The county blamed it on a glitch. Is there no backup plan for a failed recording?

Only four citizens showed up for the public hearing on the final vote for the county budget in June, which reflected an 8 mill tax increase, to be voted on later. The public notice for the hearing on the vote was only published in The State newspaper – not also in a local Fairfield County newspaper. Another important vote, but with the smallest audience I think I’ve ever seen at a council meeting.

After seven-months, we still have no word on where the council is with interviewing a qualified administrator to run the county – someone with experience in overseeing projects, economic development and other things of utmost importance to the county’s progress.

During the first comment period at council, the rules are that a speakers’ comments must pertain to an item listed on the meeting agenda. Last Monday night, I spoke to the county’s dire need for broadband which is important for the county’s economic development. Economic development was a topic on the agenda, yet the chair shut off my comments saying I was “not talking about an item on the agenda” as required.

I think we can do better, to start with, by being open and informing the public of what council is doing.

Randy Bright


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