Source: Sherman Publications

Letter to the editor
A call for public comment at meetings

September 21, 2011

Dear Editor,

Independence Township Trustees cooked up a nasty, distasteful recipe in their new rule to restrict citizen comment, limiting comment until the end of their already long and, sadly, dysfunctional meetings.

The board must be reminded that in the interest of taxpayer service, we, the people who elected you, must come first, and that it is discourteous, at the very least, to have the people who elected you have to wait for hours to have their say.

This is irresponsible and cowardly behavior on your part, and shows a total lack of consideration for those who elected you into office.

Township citizens as a whole should not have to have their comments stifled just because you are uncomfortable with the criticisms of a very vocal, but very entitled few.

As an elected official, criticism, no matter how sharp, comes with the territory. You should have expected this when you first took office.

My advice to all trustees, including Clerk Barbara Pallotta and Trustee Neil Wallace who supported this anti-free speech rule: If you canít stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Joseph Lawrence

Independence Township