Citizen’s comments should be recorded

Published 3:56 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2016

If you are not aware by now, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors’ minutes from each monthly meeting do not include anything said during public comment.

This is a rarity in our area, as most boards of supervisors do take note of citizen comments during the meeting.

Recently, those commenting citizens began to speak up through letters to the editor or at board meetings, saying that they would like to have the comments noted because other citizens who may not be able to attend the day meetings might want to know what comments were made by their fellow residents of the county. And we agree.

Every Charlotte County citizen has the right to know what is going on in their county, government-wise especially. A lot of citizens cannot attend the meetings because they are during the day. However, that is not the issue.

The board has tried in the past switching to nighttime meetings and the number of citizens showing up did not improve greatly.

Yes, for some, the timing is not best and that is why they cannot attend.

In lieu of them missing each monthly meeting, if those citizens wanted to know what occurred at the meeting they would have to turn to the meeting minutes.

Those citizens are uninformed when reading those minutes because they are not being educated fully on the meeting. We all appreciate the detailed list of what motions were made and which supervisor voted which way, but we want the full experience of the meeting without being there if we cannot attend.

Citizens expect to be able to form their own opinions on business discussed at the board meetings, but how can they do that without hearing the side of residents’ comments at those meetings?

They cannot make a well-informed decision on a subject without seeing or listening to the public comment section because a lot of the time, those citizens have done their research and are presenting information that one side may not be considering.

We highly encourage the board to revisit public comment being in the meeting minutes.

The citizens of Charlotte County deserve their comments being in the minutes.