Our post the other day about the city council agenda item that introduced the proposed 2017 tax ordinance included these words from the agenda:
Public comment typically is not taken during the first reading of ordinances. Public comments are invited at the date of the scheduled public hearing.
Shame on them
There are many things wrong with their statement.
When does “typically” apply? Do they encourage public comment when they need support? Should council be able to choose when they hear comments about proposed ordinances?
Shouldn’t our elected officials encourage public involvement?
What moral right do they have to stop us from commenting?
Do we have to be invited to speak?
Their statement is an attempt to brow-beat citizens and discourage them from participating. By discouraging public comment when the ordinance is first introduced they make it more difficult to bring forward suggested modifications at the “final” reading.
Council and city staff evidently feel that their time is too valuable to be wasted listening to the citizens.
We deserve better