Pharos-Tribune

May 30, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Twilight Zone found at public meeting


Pharos-Tribune

— Imagine you are in a meeting, one advertised as open to the public, and no one answers any questions. Are you in a new episode of “The Twilight Zone”? No, you would have attended the meeting set by the mayor of Logansport on May 20 regarding the proposed annexation. I can positively state that most of those attending were stunned when Mayor Franklin opened the meeting with a prepared statement, in which he declared that no questions would be answered. The mayor then turned the meeting over to counsel Jason Stephenson of Barnes and Thornburg LLC — NOT City Counsel Randall Head!

My interpretation of an open meeting calls for questions to be asked and followed by answers from the powers-that-be. Attorney Stephenson at one point told an audience member and speaker, “he was taking copious notes,” but refused to answer any questions. Those attending this meeting were told at the May 9 council meeting when the information was presented to the mayor and city Council, that any questions would be answered on May 20. So, as citizens in a democracy are wont to do, we attended with hopes of having our questions answered only to be stonewalled by the mayor and counsel. I do believe there was a war fought for this basic notion-taxation without representation-when King George would not accept the complaints of his citizens in the colonies.

While I do realize that not all questions could have been answered, refusing to respond to basic question you should have anticipated is egregious. One must wonder if this administration is willing to meet its constituents (or even potential constituents!) and have an open dialogue with them. When both the mayor and Councilman Bob Bishop stated openly at the May 9 meeting that questions would be answered at the May 20 meeting, their lack of openness toward this expansion is disturbing. My question to the mayor and city council is simple: What are you hiding that you don’t want to tell us?

Michael S. Ayers

Logansport