Beginning March 1st, It Will be Easier to Follow Public Business at County Workshops

Keeping up with the important deliberations that occur at county workshops, has been a challenge for everyday citizens recently. The commissioners meet in a small conference room that on a good day is nearly filled to capacity and many times there’s no room remaining in the crowded space so people stand in the door and hallway struggling to hear what’s being said. This past Tuesday one person informed Someone Noticed that they arrived a couple of minutes after the call to order and couldn’t get in the room, so after lingering for a period they departed. Beyond that the minutes aren’t helpful as there’s a long delay before they are approved and published. Right now, the most recent workshop minutes on the county website are from Jan 4, 2011, although the board has been involved in many important public policy discussions of interest to people.

But now, beginning March 1st, 2011, Workshop sessions are going to be moved into the large meeting room on the first floor, the Elk Room, and they are going to be recorded, the county administrator, Al Wein, advises. Moving the public officials and the audience trying to follow these workshops to a room where there will be  a recording of the conversations is a major step in the right direction. President Mullin had informed Someone Noticed last week that he was leaning in the direction of flipping that switch so people could listen in.   Commissioner Broomell has made transparency in county government a cornerstone of her efforts since 2011.

Thank you President Mullin for making it finally happen and Vice-President Broomell for being the strong, ongoing advocate for transparency.  There’s more to be done, but this is a good start.

The last workshop minutes posted on the county website are from Jan. 4, 2011

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6 responses to “Beginning March 1st, It Will be Easier to Follow Public Business at County Workshops

  1. Kudos! We owe these public officials the proper accolades for making access to meetings more convenient and putting the discussion on the record and available to the public at large.

    There aren’t too many public officials who would have done that. Too many – for too many years – turn their noses up at public participation. Elkton’s mayor has even gone above and beyond to discourage participation! Mayor Fisona should take a look at the County Commissioners and what they’re doing to improve access to government deliberations.

    Does anyone think the Elkton commissioners may return to recording their workshop sessions?

  2. Thank you Commissioners Mullin and Broomell for leading the way on this. Work sessions should have been open and recorded from day one. This will be especially good for the citizens as I would assume that budget work sessions will now be open so people can learn more about the budget process and how Commissioners make decisions on budget issues. Check out CecilCountySpending.com for additional information on the Cecil County budget.

  3. This is great news for the citizens of Cecil County.

    Next step: No closed door sessions. If they are doing County business, then the taxpayers have a right to know fully, what and how they are making decisions. Full transparency would prove they have nothing to hide. If it is personal matters between the commissioners, they can do it somewhere else, but NOT in taxpayers facilities using taxpayer utilities and resources.

    And in the tone of transparency,

    Before Broomell gets any credit for transparency, she should submit her campaign finance reports. The last reported contributions on the University of Maryland Election Center, Campaign Finance was 10/22/10. That is where the Maryland State Board of Elections Campaign Finance Data Base can be found. Her last reported expenditures were $2,899.15 while her contributions were $2,262.07. Whoops, sounds like a funny math thingy.

    While there, check out listed under Michael Dunn is Republicans of Cecil Fiscal Conservative Team Slate. You will recognize the names, and begin to get a sense for the manor in which money is moved around to push an agenda and secure loyalty.

    Mullin and his business have been a cog in this machine for years, cropping up as contributor in all the R committees and candidates, local and state.

    Poke around and you will be amazed how, over the years, a political regime has taken power and secured a single party monopoly. Don’t forget to stop by the Pipkin and Smigiel areas as well.

    BTW, I am registered unaffiliated, so no, I am not anti R. I would just like to see some honest, intelligent, stand-up, and trustworthy leaders who are proud of what they are doing, and not afraid stand behind their decisions.

  4. I would like to thank both Commissioners Mullin and Broomell for making county government more transparent. This is the kind of leadership that I have been waiting for. Please keep up the good work.

  5. I heard that there was not even a vote on this matter….rules who needs rules when you are a Smipkin…do whatever you like!

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