By Mark Thomason, Publisher:
Throughout the past year the Fannin County Board of Commissioners have heard lots of concerns and little praise from the public. Issues involving some county workers being paid vacation time illegally, cash being unaccounted for within the recreation department, and county equipment being used on non-county projects are just some examples of how the public has helped keep tax payer dollars in check. Most of these issues ended up being legitimate concerns and once the county looked deeper into them, they corrected the problems. However it appears the county may no longer want to listen.
At the December 13 board of commissioners meeting, public comment was omitted from the agenda. Several locals voiced concerns about not being able to have a chance to speak to the entire board of commissioners after the meeting adjourned. The Focus spoke with nearly a half a dozen residents who are now left wondering “where do they turn” to get answers from county officials.
After the meeting the Focus contacted Commission Chairman elect Stan Helton, who takes office in January, to see if public commentary will remain part of the county meeting agenda or if its gone for good. Helton immediately responded to the Focus, stating public comment will absolutely be allowed once he takes office. So, while many locals left this meeting confused and outraged, it appears the emotions should only be temporary, as Helton confirmed that the public will be allowed time to speak once he is in office.