March 18, 2006

Participating in government

As part of a three-day series highlighting Sunshine Week, the Ithaca Journal reports on how residents can participate in their local government meetings. It opens with one of the usual suspects who attend meetings:

To Simon St. Laurent, being part of a community means knowing what its public officials are up to, and giving them suggestions and insights along the way.

That's why the Dryden resident attends nearly every Dryden Town Board meeting, reporting on them through his online Web log, That way, he says, people can read what he writes, and perhaps be enticed to attend the meetings themselves.

"If I keep going, some people might come to see that as normal," St. Laurent said.

It does seem to be working to some extent - I've seen more people at Town Board meetings lately without a specific issue that's drawn them. Not a lot more, but hopefully the number will grow. The article mostly looks at the 3-minute rule for public comment, which is fairly loosely enforced in Dryden. The article notes that the City of Ithaca has a timer that rings when a speaker has one minute to go, and again at three minutes. The print edition has a large table highlighting rules for various municipal bodies and listing when they meet and where to get an agenda.

Another aspect of government, the village elections coming up Tuesday, gets examined on the opinion page. Republicans Dryden Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull and County Legislator Mike Hattery endorse Republicans Dan Wakeman and Randy Sterling. There are four letters in support of Democrat Jim Willer, from Matthew White, Richard Nowogrodzki, Basharat Wani, and Jonathan Hochberg.

I noted Congressman Sherwood Boehlert's retirement announcement yesterday, but today the Journal has a fuller article and a followup piece looking at the potential impact on Cornell and regional politics.

Stepping away from politics and government, a team of Dryden students won the T-S-T BOCES Eckerd Drug Quiz, and will compete March 29th in Syracuse at the next level of competition.

Posted by simon at March 18, 2006 7:57 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos