A Very Troubling Policy

The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.

 Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell. A print of this famous painting hangs in the room where Board of Trustees meetings are held.

Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell. A print of this famous painting hangs in the room where Board of Trustees meetings are held.

To the Editor:
Last night I spoke at a Village Board meeting regarding the wisdom, legality and necessity of a proposed contract. The Mayor accepted my comments and pledged to consider the issues I raised.  OK. Although I am grateful the momentum to repeat past contract fiascos (plural) was averted (temporarily at least), the incident was troubling. During my 5 minute “citizen/ taxpayer” moment, I was informed that the Board would not answer any questions and, indeed has adopted a formal policy of not answering questions from citizens. Wow; really?  I am truly shocked . . . and saddened. Our Village Board has a formal, written policy of not responding to citizen/ taxpayers. The “stonewall” that some citizens have endured in response to citizen/ taxpayer inquiries has been institutionalized.  

Admittedly, officials cannot be expected to answer every question “on the spot,” but personally, I find adopting an official policy of not responding to taxpayers very, very troubling. There is a lot of attention and energy focused on national politics, but I think good citizenship begins at home.

I ask our Village Board to please re-consider the current policy of not responding to your residents and instead adopt a policy of always trying to respond to your taxpayers as best you can.     

Very truly yours,
Rick Turner