Categories Op/Ed

Editorial: Two Times for Public Comment Would Improve Public Meetings

It was a simple idea and it was a very good one.

Robert Yahara spoke up during the public comment portion of the Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting on Thursday, June 21, and noted that the only time for public comment is at the beginning of the meeting. This complies with state law requiring a public comment period. But Mr. Yahara noted that it does not give the public an opportunity to tell elected officials what they think about what happened during the meeting.

Mr. Yahara suggested that the borough do with the Elizabethtown Area School District does. The school board has two public comment periods. One is at the beginning of the meeting and is restricted to items on the agenda; the other is at the end of the meeting and is for comment on

any subject.

This is a good idea and it should be adopted by all the local governments in the area that do not have two public comment periods already. It’s not required by state law, but there’s no reason not to go beyond what state law requires. Adding a second period for public comment, even if it is seldom used, will be a tangible sign that elected officials want to hear from the public.

The preceding editorial is the opinion of The Elizabethtown Advocate. Other opinions on this page are those of individual contributors. The Advocate aims to give its readers a wide variety of opinions.

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