To the Editor:
Your editorial last Saturday regarding public notices hits the target, but you missed the bull’s-eye by a mile.
Speaking specifically regarding the proposed hog farm near Brownstown, I attended the County Board of Zoning Appeals and so did reporter Aubrey Woods. I got a squeezed-in spot by the door, and Mr. Woods got a back seat right behind the commission members.
Near the conclusion of the meeting, one of the commission members proposed suspending providing notice to adjoining landowners of the “new” meeting date because he assumed they would “all know about it anyway.”
Well I am no expert, but I am pretty sure the notification of adjoining landowners is covered by statute and is not something that a commission member can just waive at his whim.
I haven’t seen any mention of the waiver in any of the stories that followed post-meeting.
I know Mr. Woods had to have heard it because he was less than 10 feet away from the councilman whereas I was about 30 feet away and I heard him.
This was bad enough.
However, when you wrote your Opinion piece, you missed a perfect opportunity to bring this suggested waiver to the attention of the public, especially those who are closely following the developments of the hog farm proposition east of Brownstown.
This is important to us, and you neglected it even when presented the perfect opportunity to address it.
I am disappointed.
You stress, and I agree, that the newspaper is an extremely valuable information tool when it comes to getting the word out on important matters of public interest, in this case a 4,000-head hog operation. As a local newspaper, I think you could do a better job.
One last point I’d like to make. I think the plan commission can do a better job as well at its next meeting.
First, it should move the venue from a small courthouse space to a large auditorium at one of the schools, the bigger the better, so that everyone who comes can have a seat.
Secondly, it should make sure all the board members are outfitted with microphones that permit all of the attendees to hear everything clearly. This would also apply to all who would present their views on this issue.
Thirdly, there should be enough commission members in attendance to take a vote.
All of these ideas taken together are what we need for our newspapers and our commission members to serve the people of Jackson County more effectively.
Jackson County Building Commissioner Mike Weir said this week that notification of adjoining property owners of the continued Jackson County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was not required because proper notification was made for the Aug. 14 meeting.
The suggested waiver was not necessary, Weir said.
The commission’s Sept. 11 meeting on the proposed hog farm has been moved from the county courthouse to Brownstown Nazarene Church, 616 W. Commerce St.
All content copyright ©2013 The Tribune, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.