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Hearing of Visitors: a modest proposal

Hearing of Visitors: a modest proposal

Postby Kingsman » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:20 pm

The following was read to the Mishawaka Common Council a week ago during the "Hearing of Visitors" section of the meeting:

“Council leader wants more public input at meetings.” That was the headline of an article in the South Bend Tribune a week ago. Council President Mammolenti was quoted as urging the public to come to city council meetings, saying “If we don’t hear about it, we don’t know about it. We can’t fix it.”

Please consider a proposal toward that end. It won’t cost anything, and it’s not likely to result in a longer meeting, but it looks a lot more welcoming to citizen input than the current situation. Decades ago, I attended a South Bend Park Board meeting. I was surprised to find that the Hearing of Visitors was the first order of business. Not the last. What a great concept, I thought.

My suggestion, then, is to schedule the Hearing of Visitors toward the beginning of the meeting, let’s say, after the approval of minutes. That changes the optics in a positive way as to how the council regards citizen input.

As for the lengthy instructions read by the council president to citizens who are ready to speak, I’d suggest something concise, and less forbidding such as “The next order of business is the hearing of visitors. Please come to the podium if you wish to speak to the council. Begin with your name and address.”
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Re: Hearing of Visitors: a modest proposal

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:30 pm

Two things. Make sure that a record of the comments are included in the official minutes of the Council. Have a City staff person present to take additional info regarding the comments and, dare I ask, give a summary of what the City has done in response to the comments from the previous meeting. Perhaps simply a hand out would do the job.
THE ONLY REASON
TO BE AGAINST VOTER ID
IS IF YOU SUPPORT VOTER FRAUD.

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