At the last village council meeting in Blanchester, it was decided that for the time being, they would no longer allow public comment at the meetings. After council had hammered out a new version of their public comment policy with the help of the village solicitor just a scant two months ago, they now are discarding their own policy in order to stifle the voices of the residents of the village. Can council not bear to hear from residents for the three minutes that they are permitted per their policy?
It is sad to see that the problems that plague the country regarding our rights have now arrived in small-town America where we felt somewhat insulated from First Amendment issues, but here we are. Council is elected to work for the public and the good of those they were elected by. However, now they want us, like children, to be seen and not heard.
Council is fine with asking for our votes and asking for additional tax money, but are not fine with listening to us. Decisions will be made and decided upon without thought or input of the residents that are directly affected by them. So I suppose we say goodbye to free speech, goodbye to public participation in local government and goodbye to our voices being heard. So perhaps goodbye to these council members next election.
Robert M Morgan