It might look like an ordinary meeting agenda to some, but to people interested in the Charleston County Legislative Delegation, it looks like an invitation.
An invitation, that is, to attend Monday’s joint delegation meeting at James Island Elementary School on Grimball Road, to hear what local representatives have to say and to give them a citizen’s viewpoint to consider.
The delegation’s most recent agenda is a vast improvement over one we lamented in December as providing next to no information and sending a message to citizens that their input wasn’t important.
Instead of stating simply that the public would be allowed to speak during one part of the meeting, this month’s agenda lists seven people and the topics they want to address. Good information that is also made available online.
Instead of announcing only that “old business” and “new business” would be discussed, the current agenda has specifics: 23 appointments will be considered, from the Charleston County Aviation Authority to the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.
The delegation’s agenda adjustments show real progress. Chairman Chip Campsen and Vice Chairman Chip Limehouse, who distributed the agenda, are to be commended.
It will be even more impressive if the delegation listens carefully to what its constituents have to say. Members don’t have to agree with every citizen who speaks, but speakers should feel they are being given respect. And they should understand why the people who represent them make the decisions they do.
Real dialogue might result in the same action, or inaction, that a delegation-only discussion would.
But it just might lead to a better conclusion. And that dialogue begins with a thorough agenda.