I am responding to a story by reporter Charles Schelle that appeared in a recent issue of the Bradenton Herald regarding testimony and comments at the Nov. 7 meeting of the Manatee County Commission. I was surprised and disappointed by the misleading coverage of my remarks.
The article creates the impression that I was opposed to public comment and stated, "Baugh said she didn't like who decided to speak at the hearing."
A review of my remarks in the meeting transcript shows that is inaccurate and misleading. My comments were intended to take issue with the content of some of the public comments, not the right to make them. I regret if that was not clear.
My comments were not to discourage public comment, but to say that our board meetings are not an appropriate forum for political views.
At times during a citizen's testimony, there can be a fine line between public debate and political commentary. At the end of the day, I believe our goal is to stay focused on the facts so we can arrive at sound public policy.
Vanessa Baugh, Manatee County CommissionerBradenton