In Their Own Words – Rules Restricting Public Input Implemented

As soon as the meeting opened on August 6, Mayor Fisona announced new rules governing citizen input at the one session a month where the public is allowed to comment. Mayor Fisona said members of the public were going to be required to sign in if they wanted to talk, comments were limited to five minutes, and no exchanges between officials and the public would be allowed. Commissioner Storke once again strongly objected and Commissioner Givens asked questions about the change.

But rather than have Someone Noticed summarize this exchange, listen to them in their own words by clicking below. It is unclear as to whether they implemented these practices since they were not followed when it came time for the taxpayers to speak.

Elkton Limits Public Comment

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One response to “In Their Own Words – Rules Restricting Public Input Implemented

  1. Wayne Fenstermacher

    Having worked with and reported on about 18 municipalities in Maryland and Pennsylvania over a 15 year period, I have a working knowledge of how many have run their meetings.

    As far as I can recall, the highest ranking official of a municipality is generally given wide latitude to run their meetings so long as they give everyone an opportunity to speak. It can be done more tactfully than Mayor J did – but, who ever accused him of being tactful?

    Now – what you don’t want to start happening is that a couple of the town’s commissioners start meeting ahead of the official meeting and “decide” what the vote will be. That’s happened in the past – as evidenced by the lack of meaningful debate and discussion by those officials. Everyone must be vigilant to ensure it doesn’t happen – and if you suspect it, report it.

    There’s a link on the Someone Noticed site that explains the rules and regulations of the Maryland Open Meetings Act (it’s called the PA Sunshine Act up here). Read it over and contact the Attorney General’s Office.

    Maybe you’ll get farther than I did more than a dozen years ago when some parking tickets were an issue of public distrust.

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