Our Voices Should Be Heard

  • Monday, April 15, 2024

Hamilton County commissioners will be voting this Wednesday on Resolution #424-17 that would change County Commission meeting rules. If the new rules are adopted, anyone who wants to speak at the end of the meeting on non agenda items will have to register a week in advance, give your name, address, and subject. From the Resolution, "The discussion of matters previously addressed to the Commission may be denied due to repetitiveness" and you have to be "granted permission" to speak. 

So, they can deny you the right to speak on the same subject? It's bad enough that the meetings are held when many people cannot get off work to attend. But, now these changes could limit when you speak and you could possibly be denied the right to speak. This is wrong.

Other rule changes:

The agenda must be on the website 48 hours in advance according to the Sunshine Law, but the new rules say, "Any matter to be presented and considered by the Commission within said 48-hour period shall be presented to, and authorized by, the Chairman for inclusion in the up-coming meeting."---So, they can add items after the agenda is released? How will the public be properly notified? And, how does that meet the Sunshine Law requirements?

And, “Any Commissioner or other elected official desiring to present to the Commission a statement for inclusion in the public record as to a matter not on the agenda shall personally present (by reading, referring to, or summarizing) said statement and shall not delegate the reading thereof. A copy of said statement shall be filed in the Clerk’s Office.” ---Why is that necessary? If someone can't attend, their statement should be allowed to be read for the record.

Please contact the County Commissioners and ask them to vote no to these changes.

Kim Helton

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