County Government Should Invite Public Feedback

Share proposed resolutions to the public, allow feedback

February 3, 2019

Prior to meetings, Columbia County Board of Supervisors should share the proposed resolutions to the public. Before a vote, the public should have an opportunity to comment.

Should the public have access to proposed resolutions prior to Columbia County Board of Supervisor committee meetings? Currently, the public does not have access. Should we change that?

Posted by Michael Chameides on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Lack of Transparency

Currently, the Board of Supervisors makes public only a brief agenda prior to a committee meeting. The agenda might list the departments related to a resolution, but not the specific topic, intent, or text of the resolutions. For example, five resolutions might simply be listed as “Planning Department” with no further details. If the public attends a committee meeting, they might briefly see the resolution projected onto a screen during the committee discussion. If passed in committee, the resolution isn’t publicly posted until a few days before the full board meeting, which could be weeks after the committee vote. At the full board meeting, the public doesn’t have an opportunity to speak prior to the vote.

Increase Transparency, Improve Government

Posting resolutions prior to the committee meetings would be a simple administrative task and provide a significant public benefit.

Posting resolutions would:

  • Create the opportunity for additional feedback—more feedback is better government. We should make it easier for the public to engage with the government.
  • Increase transparency and trust—show the public what is being discussed and how decisions are made.

Next Steps

At the January County Government Committee meeting, members of the public asked for the Board to share resolutions prior to the committee meeting. The Committee agreed to review the issue and revisit at the February meeting.

Are you concerned about government transparency? Let me know.