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"Nothing to report" these were the exact words of our Wastewater Liaison at our last council meeting. We disagree, we expected the report to include: 1) At the Planning Commission there was a lengthy discussion prompted during citizen participation about preparing for the "impending" meeting. During this discussion we learned there will be two meetings. The sequence, scope and ownership of the meetings was discussed including securing a venue big enough for the expected public turnout. The details of who is running what meeting was also discussed. 2) The Planning Commission agreed to compile all questions in anticipation of these meetings by having residents submit them to the village admin e-mail account. The compiled questions would be posted on the website so all can see and minimize duplication. 3) The wastewater study on the village website was updated to include two letters from the EPA and the National Park.
Nothing to report? Our group continues to assert that having a single council member as Wastewater Liaison, is not meeting the needs of village residents. Our request for a collaborative committee providing oversight and improving communication was discussed at a previous council meeting and they determined there was no need? The above example demonstrates we do not have open communication and transparency on a critical village topic. This is unacceptable. We expect our council members to hold their peers accountable and find a solution where public communication is prioritized.
For context, we were originally promised a public meeting on wastewater back in December. A letter from the Wastewater Liaison to residents was mailed in February. There has been no report on public response to the letter or public discussion amongst council members. The county has confirmed there are inaccuracies in that letter, yet there has been no update to the public.
We`ve also suggested to council a "State of the Village" discussion hosted by the Mayor would be beneficial to all as there are many topics beyond wastewater that would be of interest to residents: speed-enforcement, short-term rentals, new website, financial stability, master planning efforts to name a few. We will continue to provide ideas with a focus on open dialogue and discussion with residents.
What can you do? First and foremost, let`s get prepared by sending your wastewater/sewer questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org or write them out and drop them off at the Village Hall. You can also request to be added to the admin email list for village updates. Second, reflect on these topics and your hopes for the future of this village. Take a few minutes to send off a note or email directly to all council members and the mayor sharing your perspective. If appropriate you can ask that it be shared publicly at the next council meeting.
If you have any other ideas, please share them with us directly at email@example.com.