I was happy with the length of today’s meeting. It was about 90 minutes, and the time was mostly well-spent.
I’m not just talking about the public comment part of the meeting, which was almost a separate occasion. More about that in a bit.
First, the Supervisors did more than just do the minimum of the agenda and report out. There was discussion among them about an issue or two; we got to watch some back-and-forth on some details and background, and that doesn’t always happen. They weren’t earth-shaking issues – one was the contract for mowing and snow removal – but it was nice to see reflection, rationale, and questioning.
What if the board had planned ahead, solicited public comment, and updated ordinances affecting development a year ago?
Later, in the public comment portion of the meeting, a couple citizens brought up my pet issue: planning, proactivity, and responsiveness. The Board was asked about their basic planning process, their approach to gathering citizen input, and insights on planning ahead. Development, specifically wind energy development, was the igniting issue, but the overall issue is the reason I’m running: our County could do a better job of planning, thinking ahead, being responsive in a timely way, providing opportunities for citizens to share their opinions and learn the opinions of others, and being ahead of the curve on creating ordinances, not behind the curve reacting.
People have asked me what I bring to the table. This is one of those things. If I get elected, I won’t be caught off guard by questions like “What process did you have in place to keep this from happening?” or “What plans do you have to gather more information?”. I’ll have an answer, and ideally, we will start working ahead so that the public will have already seen evidence of our efforts.
What do we want as a county? Who do we want to be? It’s time to get proactive and answer those questions. No matter how the election turns out, the back-and-forth during the regular meeting, and the pressure during the public comment section, give me hope.