With three new commissioners on board, a new county administrator and interim county attorney, it looks like a new mindset is sweeping the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.
One of the many complaints to come from residents at commission meetings were regarding transparency and, perhaps even more frustrating, no response. Residents often spoke up during the public comment portion of the agenda, making statements and asking questions, only to be told that the commission didn’t responds to comments from the public during this period.
This year, however, things may be different, especially taking into consideration the new pledge to the public the commission released Wednesday night, unveiling the five commissioners desire to “affirm their core values and beliefs to our constituents and county staff.
“The Board of Commissioners acknowledges they were placed in office by the voters of Fayette County and are responsible for conducting the official business of those citizens, looking out for their best interests;
“The Board is determined to give the citizenry ample opportunity to voice their comments and concerns in all meetings.”
The commissioners also vowed to require “complete honesty and integrity in everything we do while valuing everyone’s opinion” and to take its commitments seriously “then do its utmost to live up to them, acknowledging the importance of doing what we say we are going to do.”
The board also vowed to be “good stewards of the citizen’s resources, exercising the same vigilance that we use to guard and conserve our own personal resources.”
At the same meeting, the board voted to adopt a new meeting schedule for 2013, for the first time dropping the automatic Wednesday workshop format that has been used for board meetings. In a recent email to local newspapers, commission chairman Steve Brown said, “They are generally unproductive and rarely provide any substantive clarity on the issue beyond the printed agenda item notes. Fulton County, with a budget approaching $1 billion, may require repetitive scheduled works sessions to keep the wheels of government moving.”
Instead, the board opted to continue to hold their twice monthly Thursday night meetings, only utilizing a workshop session when the commission deemed it necessary.