The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

March 4, 2012

Letters to the Editor 3/4/12


The News Courier

Letters policy

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to kelly@athensnews-courier.com.

Questions about agenda

Dear Editor:


As a resident of the city of Athens - District 5, and also a citizen of Limestone County District 2, I have a couple of questions and suggestions regarding the availability of the Limestone County Commission meeting agenda, and also the time of day the commission meetings are held.

1. Could the County Commission meeting agendas be placed online on the county's website for review a day or two prior to the meeting being held and conducted?  Citizens should be able to understand what is planned, as well as being voted on, not just find out what actions the commission has taken after the meeting in the newspaper or by word of mouth. Citizens should be provided greater transparency and be better prepared to influence the commission prior to any vote or action being taken.

From an agenda perspective, I understand there may not be a list of people who want to make a public comment, however at the very least residents could see what the commission is preparing to discuss and take action on, before action is taken. If the agenda is made available prior to the meeting, it will also make it easier and more convenient for the average citizen to be better informed. Plus it will be easier to determine if they want to take time off from work to attend the meeting and speak out.

2.  And speaking of taking time off from work, why can't County Commission meetings be held in the evening, say starting at 5:30 p.m. (after work)?  This would provide increased transparency regarding the commissioner’s meeting actions and their voting preferences. Plus, attendance would be greatly improved and people would not have to take unpaid leave, or lose vacation time to attend the meeting during the day. 

I believe both of the above points are extremely valid and I am sure we as citizens, will greatly appreciate the commission’s time, attention, and an explanation regarding any disagreement with the suggestions.

Realizing it is heresy to compare the city to the county, I see the city of Athens does both of these very effectively.

Sincerely,

Ralph M. Diggins

Athens