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Legislature shuts out public

The political make up of the Niagara County Legislature has become more one sided over the last several terms. When one regime remains in place overly long, they tend to assume ownership of power to exclusion of the people.

Prior to a December 2009 resolution, there had been provision for general public input early in 7 p.m. legislative sessions. As of that time, new rules have restricted comment to listed resolutions only. General public comment is now consigned to a time after adjournment. There is no actual published agenda. The public is only provided a list of resolutions to be voted late in session, after a long break, for off-the-floor meetings. Adjournment can be quite late. This has provided the desired political effect: to discourage public participation in what should be the peoples’ government.

Veterans events seem to be much in the news at the moment, as in Washington D.C., and the new Purple Heart memorial in North Tonawanda. The Legislature could join in the mood of recognition by restoring citizen veterans’ ability to participate in our government as had been the schedule prior to the disturbing Ross-Updegrove resolution of December 2009.

Any one remember that government is supposed to be of, by and for the people?

Donald G. Hobel