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‘Speak Out’

After attending the San Juan County Commission Meetings over the last few months---it's painfully clear that public input is non-existent. It's said that the fear of speaking in public is just below the fear of death. If that's true, it may explain why no one shows up or chooses not to speak up---when given the opportunity at every meeting.

County government is a legal entity---a corporate body of a sort, whose function is to provide services to its residents and businesses. But the very nature of any corporation is to insure it's own survival and protect it's interests before any others. So if county residents and businesses seek to promote and protect 'their interests’----they may consider summoning up some courage---and 'speak out'. I would even suggest that County Commissioners and the CEO would welcome more public input. They appear to take their jobs seriously and strive to make the best possible decisions on critical issues. So here’s a suggestion for them. Change the time of County Commission Meetings to 6:30 or 7pm---to make it more convenient for the public to show up. Aztec City Commission meets at 6pm.

The agenda is preset for every meeting--and public input is called for at the end, but this opportunity to voice ‘comments/input’ could affect future agendas. As an example, the issue of 'mental health' and the obvious need for improved services has been a topic of discussion the last two or three meetings. A 'Task Force' is being formed under the direction of CEO Carpenter, primarily at the urging of Commissioner Crowley. This may be an area of concern for many County residents.

Representative government only happens when many voices with diverse views are heard. It takes time to become informed and energy to act. Freedom is not free!

Anyone who has ideas/suggestions on any topic regarding services or input on how the County can more effectively promote economic development, encourage water conservation or---anything heavy on your mind---should attend and use the allotted three minutes. You can read from prepared notes or just speak from your heart. At the very least---contact your Commissioners and the County CEO---if you desire more responsive government.

by David Edward Albright, Flora Vista


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