Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: Local Government Can Do More to Be Transparent

I would like to thank The Elizabethtown Advocate for their May 10 editorial that challenges our community to take a vested interest in the decisions of the Elizabethtown Borough Council. The editor knows well about the lack of public attendance at Council meetings. For folks to be critical of the decisions made at these meetings, while also failing to take advantage of the stage that is offered is childish whining.

However, even though the public does have this forum let’s not overlook how impractical that is in today’s society. People’s work and family life are not always aligned with Council business. Can an individual really keep up to speed by only attending one Council meeting a month? The borough does post meeting minutes online but often the Council is making decisions on items in minutes that are a month behind publishing. Oh and let’s not forget that the primary document that sets the course of the Council, the budget, was discussed and voted on during the busiest holiday season of a year, Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Yes, the resources and platform are there for the diligent and conscientious, but why should that level of effort be needed with the great variation of communication that technologies offer today? Look at the Lancaster City Council, for example. It took a private citizen live-streaming their meetings with cell phone video camera to get them to realize issues with the accessibility and transparency of their meetings. Surely the communication could be better from both sides of the table.



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