In any democratic system, transparency and accessibility are crucial elements for fostering trust between elected officials and the community they serve. Unfortunately, in Schuylkill County, there is much room for improvement in both of these areas when it comes to the Commissioner office. To restore trust and ensure that the voices of the community are heard, we must take concrete steps to increase transparency and accessibility.
One of the most significant barriers to accessibility is the scheduling of meetings during the day. Many members of the community are unable to attend meetings during regular business hours, as they are either at work or have other commitments. To address this issue, we must move the times of meetings to the evening. This will allow more community members to participate and share their concerns and ideas with the Commissioners.
I also believe that we need to reintroduce the second comment period of public meetings. Originally this was removed to streamline the meetings, but at the same time the county commissioners decided to limit the amount of time each citizen has to discuss topics with commissioners. I believe by adding back the second comment period with an unlimited amount of time for each citizen to discuss topics of concern to them this will allow a more open conversation and create dialogue between the commissioners and the citizens of the county.
Another crucial step towards improving accessibility is ensuring that all meetings are recorded and made available to the public. By recording meetings, we can provide an accurate record of decisions made and discussions had, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, broadcasting these recordings on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook will make them easier for citizens to access and digest.
Furthermore, we must ensure that all decisions made by the Commissioner office are transparent and accessible to the community. This means posting meeting agendas and minutes online across multiple platforms, as well as providing ample opportunities for public comment on major decisions. By making this information easily accessible, we can ensure that citizens are informed and can hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.
In summary, improving transparency and accessibility of the Schuylkill County Commissioner decisions and meetings is vital for fostering trust and creating a more engaged and informed community. By moving meetings to the evening, recording and broadcasting them, and providing transparent information about decisions made, we can ensure that everyone's voice is heard and that we work together to build a better future for our community.