Hear the concerns of citizens
My remarks are to the Garden Township Board and I make them with much respect for the offices you hold and the responsibility that you have accepted.
You, as our elected officials, owe it to all township citizens to hear our concerns with an open mind, to do your homework to fully understand an issue, to discuss issues in an open meeting, and to explain why you make the decisions you do. You most definitely have the right to expect courtesy and respect for the process from we the citizens.
I do not think you have done these things, thus adding much to the division in our community. I will tell you why I say this.
1. You do not adequately discuss many important issues in public, leading to suspicion that you are not honoring your legal obligation to operate in the open. The perception is that you must be discussing such important issues somewhere and it should/must be in an open meeting. And, again, I completely defend your right to do this with a respectful and quiet public. You vote, but we often do not know your reasoning. You will remember that when the Delta County Board of Commissioners was working on zoning changes, each member took the time to explain his/her thinking.
2. I feel you make some decisions on how you personally feel instead of remembering that you are supposed to make decisions on what is best for the township. You cannot possibly please all the people all the time, but your decisions should be based on objective facts, and not your personal emotions.
3. I have heard the comment that this upcoming election is about the wind turbines. I want to make it clear that the focus of the HTTG (Honest, Transparent, Township Government) group backing some of the candidates is not wind turbines. The focus is supporting people who believe in operating openly, who listen to all aspects of an issue before making a decision, and who can fully explain why they vote the way they do.
4. One last point, letting people have their three minutes of time to speak means nothing if it is just going through legal motions. You should welcome all public opinions and provide feedback when possible. When you treat the public so patronizingly, it breeds frustration. Maybe you should try something else to receive meaningful (and it is all meaningful) input from your constituent – like focus groups or question and answer sessions. You need to be available and open-minded. Only then can you make wise decisions based on good information.