If recent experiences at Charleston City Council and the city Planning Commission reflect how our city government is managed, Charleston is in real trouble. Why so much secrecy? Why so many mistakes due to haste?
At the July 12 Planning Commission hearing, more than 100 members of the public did not get to see a copy of an amended ordinance under consideration until 10 minutes after the meeting started. The proposal was prepared in such a rush that no one even caught a typo in its content.
Worse yet, the public didn’t see the original version of this ordinance until the night before City Council approved it in June — and then only if they knew to recheck the agenda attachments to see that it was belatedly included.
The details in these laws can make a real difference. How can the Planning Commission or council members do their work prudently if they don’t have time to consider what they are voting on?
How do citizens and volunteers participate and/or contribute their thoughts if they don’t get to review the proposals in advance?
What happened to transparency and reasonable disclosure of public documents to the public?
What is really going on here?
James C. Todd III, DMD