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Letter to the editor

Clarkston council still has a long way to go

November 17, 2010 - Dear Editor,

The Village of Clarkston has had their first meeting of the new City Council and there was some information released from the closed doors and private meetings even though it took some pleading and coaxing from both the council and public. A sign of hope? You will have to attend the meetings to know for sure.

What was revealed? Closed door meetings, now called executive sessions to further confuse the public, with decisions made and expenses authorized without any public record. Zoning matters not given to the Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals where they belong but instead decided in private and in violation of our own Ordinances, Charter and State Law. I didn't think the City Council could make an exception to the law for one person or one property, but they did.

There were discussions about matters of law that were not on the agenda but still got discussed. Too bad for you if you were interested in medical marijuana legislation. I guess another reason to attend meetings because they apparently don't want to announce what they might talk about to either the council or the public.

The city manager and attorney told the public that the entire council was in complete agreement on actions taken by the council with regards to 90 N. Main. There is no record of that and three members of the current council knew nothing about it. The rest said nothing. Even when asked, the council members responded with stone faced silence. It seems the council is still of the opinion that the public and even all of their members do not need to be informed. Perhaps some members of the public, and some council members, are more privileged than others and are allowed to have information no one else has.

Perhaps the city is transitioning into some new form of government and we won't have to bother with a public vote or public record for anything. What would we call a government where a few elected and unelected people tell us little, takes action in secret without any authority, and that has an elected body that agrees in silence with no public record? Would that be an authoritarian form of Monarchy, Diarchy, Oligarchy or will we have to coin a new word? Perhaps a Clarkstonarchy?

Cory Johnston


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