April 22, 2019 9:41:28 AM
City council meeting lacked transparency
I have stressed transparency from the city council for a while. The April 16 council meeting did not let me down because there was no new news and not much transparency. Same old rubber stamping of the docket, a report on the storm clean-up tonnage given, all department reports accepted, three police promotions in title only, etc. There was no financial report given even though Mr. Crowder was in the audience. He was not even sitting at the table where a report could have been given or questions asked by the council. With the state of the city's finances, an update would be information the citizens would like to have. Transparency? Isn't the city's finances the public's business? Why the secrecy? Are we perhaps in worse financial shape than the information that was provided to the public before? Sure cuts have been made, but that affects only future spending. Just food for thought. The newly hired CFO is stepping in some real deep murky waters. I hope she is qualified for the task, but from the word on the street I have my doubts.
Now another matter that ruffled some feathers in the gallery at the council meeting: how a member of the Lowndes County board of supervisors got to speak when he was not on the agenda. Political courtesy perhaps, but the same courtesy should be allowed to the public. We are the tax payers you are working for. As a citizen, you really have to jump thru hoops to get on the agenda. The council meeting is a spectator sport for sure. If the county official wanted to present his program to the city, ask to be on the agenda like the rest of us.
By the way, we had two former members of the city council in attendance but they weren't recognized. I thought they were not giving the professional courtesy of recognition, especially when a county official was recognized. But that's me.
Hats off to Mr. Gillon of the "Long Term Recovery Team". The points he made were spot on. The government might help, but the volunteers helping the recovery get the job done, wanting nothing in return. FEMA and MEMA are great, but when I hear, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you," it sends shivers down my spine. As Mr. Gillon stated it's about the people. Let have proper transparency and accountability when and if the government comes to the rescue.
Enough for now. God bless Columbus and America.
Lee Roy Lollar
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