Manatee Board of County Commissioners needs to streamline the board meetings. At a recent board meeting the commissioners voted 4-3 to move future public comment to the end of the day as it was interfering with agenda business.
The reasoning behind the resolution was to free up more time for agenda business. Apparently the non-agenda business such as proclamations, advisory board approval and other non-agenda items that consume hours are just fine with delaying the business of the day, but not future public comment and the 30 minutes or less it usually takes.
No studies were done; public input was ignored. Many good alternatives where brought up by the citizens who stayed after 5 p.m. to be heard. Perhaps one additional meeting per month for business agenda items only would streamline the process and show the companies that want to do business with the county that the county means business.
Another alternative: The board should consider placing non-agenda business to another day other than agenda business. The Jan. 25 "official" agenda did not start until after 11 a.m. as other non-agenda items were heard first.
What a waste of resources, time and aggravation for the citizens and business partners who show up to do business with the county. All this while the board takes 90 minutes for lunch before the afternoon section resumes.
As the board just passed this resolution, I see no improvements coming soon for the sake of our business community or future agenda items that will have no future.
Commissioners who just listened: Larry Bustle, Charles Smith, Carol Whitmore, and Vanessa Baugh.
Commissioners who really heard us: Robin DiSabatino, John Chappie, Betsy Benac, thank you!
"There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing." -- G.K. Chesterton