Kudos to Larry Krauss for an excellent "Letter to the Editor" in this week's Waterville Times!!! Larry also takes issue with the new “Rules of Decorum” passed by the Town Board that further restricts public participation and comment at Regular Board Meetings. While “legal”, the new "RULES effectively limit any inquiry as to what is going on in this Town. So,why now?
Frankly, because the "natives" are restless and asking questions, demanding performance!! Enough of the promises...and "I'll look into it"...."it's under discussion"..."there's nothing we can do"....and ignoring the PUBLIC !
This “gag” rule comes at a time when it is so critical to be informed about the changes and issues affecting our community; when OPEN discourse with our elected representatives is most essential, YET we are HANDED a four page “sit down & shut up” set of rules. While it may be “legal” it doesn’t make it RIGHT!!!
New “RULES” at Town Website: http://www.brookfieldny.us/
How about some RULES OF DECORUM for the Town SUPERVISOR & THE BOARD? Here are some suggestions:
1. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST - Put the COMMUNITY before your personal, family and political interests by DISCLOSING and NOT VOTING on resolutions where there is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
2, BE INFORMED - Have a fundamental understanding of the issues; some Board members believe their ignorance is an acceptable excuse and attempt to pass it off as "open-mindedness"!
3. CONDUCT MEETINGS - publicly, at properly noticed times and not in private business establishments and behind closed doors.
4. BOARD MINUTES & AGENDA – Minutes and the agenda should be prepared for each meeting an available to the PUBLIC within a REASONABLE period of time. When was the last time we saw MINUTES? Then, we can see what we missed and when those "formal" resolutions are finally written up! And STOP WITH the same “cookie cutter” AGENDA with little, if any, information about matters to go before the Board.
5. BE PREPARED - put a little effort in ...maybe read up on the issues, minutes, topics, resolutions BEFORE THE MEETING STARTS...not while you're sitting there at the table..
6. DISCLOSURE - Let us KNOW when the COUNTY SUPERVISORS are voting for their own salary increases on TOP of their FREE health insurance...don't hide it in the budget or neglect to mention it in Supervisor’s County report. The TAXPAYERS have a right to know when you are giving yourselves a salary increase at OUR expense! ….As happened this year!
7. EARN RESPECT - a four page list of rules for the PUBLIC is the Supervisor's means of achieving respect..? As Krauss summed it up: “you don’t COMMAND respect… you EARN IT!”