Letter to the Editor: Public meetings

Dear Editor,

In recent years many of us have spent far more time than necessary at various public meetings awaiting our three minutes to speak during “Public Comment,” an item often placed dead last on the agenda.  By that time, most of the attendees have long departed, and sometimes the members themselves, depriving public speakers of any viable audience.

FOUR PRIME OFFENDERS:  The State Fish and Game Commission, the State Fair Board, the Veterinary Medical Board, and various County Boards of Supervisors, et al.  One can wait for hours before being allowed to speak — a terrible and unnecessary waste of time. Or, arriving late, miss the comment period entirely.

EASY FIX:  Simply put the “Public Comment” period early-on in the agenda.  Better yet, add another at the end of the meeting.  Doing so would not add to the length of the meetings, would allow for a larger audience to hear public concerns, and would be far more “user-friendly,” enabling the public to allot its time more efficiently.  In a word: “democratic.”  What’s not to like?

The present situation gives the impression that our civic leaders really don’t want to hear from us.  Do they?   Or is state legislation in order to remedy this?

Eric Mills,
Action for Animals


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