To The Daily Sun,
I recently noticed that the public comment item on the agendas for Sanbornton Selectboard meetings, which had always been after the Pledge of Allegiance, is now placed after all other business. Please read the following letter (quoted below) expressing my concern about this decision by the Board of Selectmen. Don Foudriat and I both wrote letters of concern to the board and the media the last time the board took the same action in 2008. Please reconsider and move the Public Comment item back where it belongs.
In 2008 I wrote, "Moving the 'Public Comment' portion of the BOS meeting to the end of the meeting agenda, after all other business items have been discussed, is a disservice to the residents of Sanbornton.
"Average meetings run approximately three or more hours and it seems unfair that residents attending the meeting will now have to wait almost that long before they have an opportunity to express their concerns.
"I would hope that the selectmen's motive in making this decision was not to discourage our elderly, or any other town resident, from having an opportunity to speak out on important issues. I do understand that the BOS want to speed up the business portion of the meeting, but that should not be done at the expense of our concerned taxpayers.
"It is the responsibility of the BOS Chairman to respectfully limit the time allowed for individual public comments and to move the meeting along giving everyone an opportunity to speak.
"Unfortunately the only other option for addressing the Selectmen at a meeting involves having to first schedule an appointment by noon of the Friday preceding the following Wednesdays meeting to get on the agenda. That's not very practical when something urgent has to be addressed.
"Selectmen, reconsider your decision and place 'Public Comments' back on the beginning of the meeting agenda."
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