No more Public Comment? Commissioner-elect Helton says “Absolutely yes!!”

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.

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2 thoughts on “No more Public Comment? Commissioner-elect Helton says “Absolutely yes!!”

  1. Marcella O'Steen

    What a wimpy thing for Simonds to do. That pesky intruding public was just too much for him to handle even one last time.

  2. Ralph Garner

    At the commissioners meeting of 12-13-16, Bill Simonds ended his chairmanship pretty much as he came into it and often conducted it throughout his tenure: with a boorish display of rudeness to his audience.
    In choosing their next chairman, Fannin voters proved again ol’ Abe Lincoln’s maxim: “You can’t fool all the people all the time.” When the Fannin electorate got its belly full of Simonds’ appalling conduct of his office, they gave him an unmistakable boot into retirement.
    So many are hoping and counting on Stan Helton to deliver guidance that is several standards higher than what this community has received for many years. Indeed, if Mr. Helton will keep his campaign promises to bring transparency and financial accountability to all county departments, he will prove the greatest administrator Fannin County has seen in modern times.

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