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Public forums require time for discussion

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

The most important part of a local government body meeting is the citizen public portion in which the citizens hold their public servants accountable for their actions and lack of action in meeting the needs of a government for, of, and by the people.

Traditionally, each member of the government body gives a report. This should be the first item of business, but the very second item of business should be the citizen public portion.

Each citizen should have five uninterrupted minutes to state one’s concerns. Immediately following, each member of the governing body will have to respond, provided the concern was addressed to the entire governing body.

If the citizen requires rebuttal, he or she will wait until all citizens have put forth their concerns and then a second round will begin with the citizen having three minutes for rebuttal, followed by the immediate response of the government body and then followed by the citizen having his or her final two minutes of response to the governing body, followed by a response from the governing body, if the citizen requests it.

This format fairly meets the needs of the citizen and should be enacted by every local governing body with some encouragement by editorial boards.

Ray Kalainikas

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