The new practice the Mayor and Commissioners have started of publishing the agenda that lists the subjects that are under consideration at workshop is a step in the right direction. It allows citizens interested in some given aspect of municipal government to know when the officials are examining the subject so they’re able to attend the meeting to monitor the discussion.
With the release of the June 9 agenda, it makes the second consecutive meeting that the officials have shared this information. The board is to be thanked for taking this progressive step that helps increase public awareness and participation, a good thing for local government.
Someone Noticed still encourages the elected officials to allow much more public participation since it helps politicians make more informed decisions. A step in that direction, as we’ve editorialized before, would be to allow citizen input at your workshops. Other towns are able to manage that without creating undue complexity or disruptions. Commissioner Givens frequently brings up the matter of opening up the meetings for more citizen input. At the last board session, the board split on such a decision with Commissioners Givens and Hicks favoring an open process that would allow for input much in the way other towns allow citizens to comment. Commissioner Givens had it right when he remarked the chair controls the meeting and keeps things moving along in an orderly fashion. It’s done that way with success in other places.
Finally since the town streams one-half of its meetings, why not just finish that process and share all of your meetings on videos? The more open the actions and activities of local government is to the public, the better it is for everyone.
Whatever the case with these additional enhancements, the town is to be congratulated for sharing this additional information. Thus, following in the traditon of print media’s editoral page, this new media, citizen journlalism site awards the Mayor and Commissioners of Elkton a thumbs up for beginning to share it’s agenda with the public.