Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: Public Should Get to Address Borough Council at End

In the June 14 issue of The Elizabethtown Advocate, Sen. Ryan Aument, a Republican whose district includes Elizabethtown said, “The law belongs to the people, not just politicians and those who practice law.”

As a constituent in Ward 2 and a tax paying resident of Elizabethtown I would like to propose a change to the public comment portion of the Elizabethtown Borough Council’s agenda. Presently the public is only allowed to comment at the beginning of council meetings. I would like it to be changed to the format of the Elizabethtown Area School District’s school board meetings. The school board allows comments on agenda items at the beginning of the meeting and comments on any issue at the end of the meeting. The comment period at the school board meeting is 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after.

It is my opinion that the present public comment period limits community involvement in decisions the council makes. It does this by not allowing affirmation or rebuttal during the democratic process of making laws and doing borough business. You have to come back 14 days later to make public remarks of support or rebuttal on an issue. So I would like to make a motion that the council change its public commit period to 5 minutes after the roll call and 5 minute before council remarks and adjournment. Do I have a second? Oh, but wait, I would be considered out of order. But since I am a constituent of Ward 2 I asked my elected representatives J. Neil Ketchum and Jeffery K. McCloud to help me make this change in the law. We know that if people show up en masse to protest an issue, that gets the Council’s attention, and can move them to action.

I hope this suggestion can garner support from other residents in the community. Sen. Aument says the law belongs to the people. Is that statement true? This proposal was first presented to my Ward 2 council members and the other councilors at the June 21 Council meeting.

ROBERT YAHARA

Elizabethtown

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