Comm. Givens Asks Mayor to Allow Public to Comment Before Board Goes Behind Closed Doors

News Brief —–

Elkton Town Hall, April 7, 2010 – After the commissioners finished the published agenda at the Wednesday meeting, Mayor Joe Fisona called for a motion for a closed meeting to consult with the attorney.  “You aren’t going to ask for public comment?” the town administrator asked.  To that Mayor Fisona replied no, citing a new practice that restricts rules for public comment since he said an earlier “meeting went off course.”  In this instance, the rule requires anyone desiring to speak to sign in before the start of the meeting so they’re unable to provide feedback on the discussions that took place during the course of the session.  At the time Mayor Fisona implemented these new practices, Commissioner Charles Givens objected.  He reemphasized his concerns about restricting public input again this Wednesday evening, saying “I questioned that before.  I still think the courtesy should be extended” to the public so they have a chance to comment.  “We discussed that before Charlie,” the mayor replied.   “No we never discussed it.  I discussed it, but you never allowed it” to come before the board.  “I still maintain this is a public opportunity,”  Commissioner Givens replied.  Following the exchange the commissioners approved a closed session as the audience, having to save any remarks they might have about the evening’s public business, for the next meeting in May.

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