Letter to the editor: Council should not delay responses at meetings

Writer: “The patronizing delay of responses to public concerns…is an insult to concerned citizens”

The voters of the Township of Washington have a mayor and five council persons who serve to govern the township. At the township’s meetings, the council and mayor sit before the township residents to conduct their functions, and respond to citizen concerns in a public forum.

Three concerns include the status of the recent citizen’s petition regarding minimum and maximum salaries. The petition was signed by numerous Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Review of the petition should be to determine the signatures are registered voters and the amount. The review should not be how it can be denied. What is the delay?

At meetings, township council has taken to delaying responses to public participants until after all citizen questions are asked. This is a distraction to understanding and memory of comments. Pigeon holing responses until all other questions are asked is demeaning, patronizing and not responsive to the citizens.

Lastly, council executive sessions prior to the order of business and leaving citizens sit.

These three recent and distasteful practices and delays are reflective of an attitude that the public can wait. According to the township’s code (paragraph 2–46), the council president shall preside at all meetings, and the meetings are conducted according to Roberts Rules. Roberts Rules provides for a parliamentarian. It does not provide any authority for the parliamentarian to conduct or control the meeting. The township’s non-elected solicitor was announced as parliamentarian. The patronizing delay of responses to public concerns per the council meeting’s resolution is an insult to concerned citizens who wish to have knowledge of what is going on. Reflecting on previous year’s executive sessions were toward and prior to meeting termination and after public participation. Our mayor should reflect on her choice of solicitor. Who was voted into office?

Gerald Keer